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Stay safe while cutting the grass on your riding lawn mower

Ah, summer. The sun is high in the sky, the weather is fair and the scent of newly-cut grass wafts on the breeze. This is the prime mowing season, when the famous Kentucky bluegrass seems to grow right before your eyes.

If you are a Louisville homeowner, chances are good that you are all-too-familiar with the chore of mowing the lawn. You do it so frequently, you could almost cut the grass with your riding mower in your sleep.

But this most mundane outdoor chore actually poses quite a hazard to the one doing the mowing. Learn how you can stay safe while making sure that your lawn passes muster with local code enforcement officers or Homeowner Associations (HOAs).

-- Never allow children to operate riding lawn mowers.

-- All adults must familiarize themselves with the operating instructions to avoid dangerous mishaps.

-- Only operate your riding lawn mower when its discharge guard and grass catcher are securely in place.

-- Before beginning to mow, do a walk-through of the area to be mowed. Remove obstacles like branches, toys and any discarded items that could cause the riding mower to malfunction.

-- Be mindful of burrowing animals and their young that could get eviscerated by the whirring blades.

-- Keep kids and other adults out of the way when you mow. The riding lawn mower can sling debris hard and fast enough to cause them injuries.

-- Don't allow children to ride along on the mower as passengers.

-- Only mow up and down elevated areas — never across.

-- Be especially careful if you have to back the riding lawn mower up.

Despite all of your caution, an injury from a riding lawn mower can still occur. Sometimes an accident occurs due to a manufacturing or design defect in the riding mower itself. If so, an attorney can advise as to whether you have a legitimate product liability case to pursue.

Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission, "Avoid Mower Mishaps," accessed July 07, 2017

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