Suggestions for ATV Safety

ATVs are getting bigger and faster, ranging up to 700cc and over in engine size, weighing 600 or more pounds, with speeds exceeding 70 miles per hour.
Suggestions for ATV Safety - Articles


Adult-sized ATVs are not suitable for youth under age 16.

Statistics bear this out:

  • Nationally over 30,000 children age 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries (fractured bones, head and facial injuries) in a recent year.
  • Children ages 10-14 account for 75% of the deaths from ATV injuries.
  • Over 90% of the ATV related injuries to children under age 16 were caused by adult-sized ATVs.

By following these suggestions for ATV safety, operators should find ATV use pleasant and productive and that ATV injury and fatality incidents can be avoided.

Choose the right ATV

Operators must be able to control ATV.

Age of OperatorATV Engine Size
Under age 6not recommended
Age 6-11
under 70 cc.
Age 12-15
70-90 cc.
16 years & olderover 90 cc

Four-wheelers are more stable. Don't purchase a used three-wheeler.

Be safe with an ATV that has:

  • Coil springs and shocks absorbers to increase stability.
  • An automatic transmission to reduce "popping the clutch" rear overturn risks.
  • Rear carrying racks only on adult-sized ATVs.

Dress safely

  • A helmet with full face shield or goggles.
  • Non-slip high top shoes.
  • Gloves.
  • Long sleeves and pants.

Complete a training course


Use safe ATV driving techniques

Provide adult supervision of beginning riders

  • Supervisory controls (throttle limiters, exhaust restrictors and remote shut-off switches) assist in supervision.

Avoid rear overturns

  • Carry less than 1/3rd the weight of the ATV on the rear carrier rack.
  • Hitch only to manufacturer supplied hitch points to maintain safe "angle of pull."

Avoid side overturns

  • Understand principles of center of gravity and centrifugal force.
  • Avoid high speeds and jerky steering.
  • Be aware of rough terrain.

Know the weight limitations of your ATV

  • Keep towed load amounts less than the combined weight of the ATV & operator.
  • No extra riders!

Don't drive on roads

  • It's prohibited except to cross.