We've all seen our next door neighbor, a grandmother, gallantly riding her shiny, yellow Cub Cadet while her two year old grandson holds onto the steering, apparently enjoying the ride as if were an amusement park roller coaster. While this may be a Kodak moment, it's not the safest, or therefore the smartest thing she could be doing. And, since I'm both a writer and a former landscaping company owner and employee, I can say that I've learned a lot in regards to mower safety. So, upon my pedestal I'll preach onward.
First and foremost, let's discuss riding mowers. Riding mowers, ranging from 10 to even 40 horsepower pack a lot of punch. Imagine, this same grandmother allowing her two-year-old grandson to lead forty horses to stable. It's not going to happen! The grandkid shouldn't be allowed near the machine, ever.
Next, while spotting granny riding with her grandson, we see that she's sporting her new pink beach sandals. While the beach (or anywhere but here) is a great place for sandals, she should be wearing some protective gear. More people in the US lose toes (or feet) to this type of nonchalant behavior around mowers than any other accident. This is the same for push-mowers and weed eaters, where the chance of losing a toe can be multiplied two-fold. At the very least, try wearing socks and sneakers. Better yet, where steel toed boots and jeans. And, keep grandkid with grandpa far away from your mower and from any windows in the house.
Finally, when granny trims (as she's gotten pretty tired from controlling all those horses), she attempts to finish up by mowing around the shrubs out back. While doing so, we look out the window and notice that she is pulling the mower behind her with one arm. She's ingeniously duct-taped the safety handle down too. While noting this, nothing has happened to her, but she's lucky.
You should always face the mower engine and keep both hands on the push bar, even if you step back while mowing. Step once, then again. This way, you won't pull the mower over your heels or Achilles tendon if you happen to fall. And, never tie or tape down the safety.
So, while there's a lot to talk about in regard to mower safety, keep granny in mind. Go ahead and go out and talk to her about what you've learned. You'll only be doing her a favor. Plus, you'll keep all this in mind now that mowing season is upon us in full steam. Grandkid will grow up plenty fast enough to help granny out one of these days!