Really, you’re asking – is it really a big deal buying safe riding mowers? What do people actually die on mowers? Well, since you ask, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there are about 100 people every year who die on their riding mowers. In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you went to the CPSC website right now and looked for their recommendations on how to buy safe riding mowers.
But do let us look at a few of our own recommendations – for things that can actually kill you and for other things.
Well, for instance, how often do you consider how loud a mower is before you buy it? Certainly, you can be completely annoyed by those noise levels once you’ve bought your mower. But usually, this isn’t something you check out at the store. You need to check out how loud a mower is, for the hearing damage it is capable of causing. It should be a really good idea to look for a quiet mower, and then to use hearing protection on top of it.
Most riding mowers will give you the option to use one of three discharge modes. They’ll spew out grass clippings off the side, or they will give you the option to either mulch it or bag it. It’s usually a good idea to dispense with the side discharge mode. The motor can easily suck up a rock or something and eject it at high speed. It’s not safe.
Riding mowers should always have an automatic stop function, kind of the way jet skis and snowmobiles do. They call it a “seat shutoff switch” on a mower. Unfortunately, many people find this kind of kill switch a bit annoying. But you do have to remember that lawnmowers kill people every year. A function that completely stops the mower and the blades the moment someone is off the seat will absolutely save lives.
If you have a choice, you should always consider buying a step through design. Those are the safest. The thing is, that if you have a cramped mower that’s difficult to get on and off, you could accidentally knee some kind of switch into action and set things in motion that you don’t intend to.
Lawnmowers often come with weight kits. They’re supposed to make a lawnmower more stable. These are a good idea. Since the heavy cutting parts are usually on one end of the mower, the other end tends to be dangerously light. This could result in one end lifting up. Always consider buying something that’s weighted. In fact, a mower turning over is such a danger that they often provide seatbelts and roll bars.