All-terrain vehicle safety

Adult wearing a helmet riding an ATV

Mythbuster

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are powerful machines that require strength and skill to operate. So, it makes sense to start teaching kids to ride early, right? 

Wrong. 

The truth is that ATVs cause more permanent disabilities and death (commonly called “catastrophic injuries”) than most other sport or recreational activities. Children and youth lack the knowledge, development and skills to safely operate these vehicles. ATV use by children has resulted in serious injury and death. 

Tips

  • ATV drivers should be 16 years or older.
  • Limit engine output. Excessive speed is a major risk factor for ATV-related deaths. 
  • Wear a helmet that is up to the standard recommended for motorcycles. A U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that helmet use could reduce the risk of ATV non-fatal head injuries by 64 per cent and risk of death by 42 per cent.
  • Do not ride an ATV on roads and highways. 
  • Always ride sober. 
  • Follow manufacturer instruction for proper ATV use, maintenance and passenger limits 
  • Respect the environment. Make sure you can see your environment, and can respond in time to avoid objects, people, trees, and other hazards. 
  • Take an ATV training program 
  • If an ATV is designed to carry a passenger, drive with great care, particularly with young children who may have difficulty holding on during sudden turns, or on bumpy roads.