Quick Facts For a Safer Ride

Use this fact sheet to share critical safety information in the teachable moments after an ATV-related incident, injury or death.
May 22, 2014

There are more than 700 deaths and 100,000 injuries each year involving ATVs, according to CPSC’s most recent data. By following the key safety tips below, hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries related to ATVs could be prevented.

 

Stay Off of Paved Roads

  • ATVs are designed to be driven on off-road terrain and are difficult to control on paved roads where they are at risk of overturning or colliding with cars and trucks.
  • In some states, it is illegal to ride ATVs on paved roads. Check the state or local laws and regulations where you plan to ride.
  • CPSC is deeply concerned that some states and local governments are changing their laws and ordinances to allow ATVs to be used on paved roads.  CPSC, the ATV industry, and consumer advocates are united in our belief that riding an ATV on a paved road can result in tragedy.

 

Never Allow Children Younger Than 16 on Adult ATVs

  • More than 90 percent of ATV-related injuries involving children can be attributed to a lack of developmental skills needed to maneuver the faster, more powerful adult ATVs.
  • Children younger than 16 should be on one of the age-appropriate youth models, which are required to travel at lower speeds than adult ATVs and to have an adjustable speed limiter.
  • All ATVs should be equipped with a label that indicates the manufacturer’s recommended age for that particular model.
  • Children younger than 6 years of age should never be on any ATV -- either as a driver or passenger.

 

Don’t Allow More People on the Vehicle Than It Was Designed to Carry

  • A single-rider ATV should only have one person on it -- the driver.
  • ATVs are designed for interactive riding. The driver must be able to shift his or her weight freely in all directions. Passengers can inhibit the driver’s ability to safely control the ATV and it could roll over or crash.
  • Most ATVs sold today are single-rider ATVs, which are not equipped with handholds or footrests for passengers.

 

Always Wear a Helmet and Other Protective Gear

  • CPSC and the ATV Safety Institute recommend U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell) certified helmets.
  • Riders should also wear goggles, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and over-the-ankle boots.

 

Get Hands-On Training

  • CPSC recommends that all ATV drivers -- adults and children -- take a hands-on ATV safety course from a qualified instructor.
  • Many deaths and injuries occur when an inexperienced driver loses control of an ATV, is thrown from an ATV, overturns the vehicle, or collides with a fixed object or a motor vehicle. Hands-on training can give experienced and first-time riders the skills to handle multiple riding situations that can happen in off-road conditions. 
  • Courses are offered by the ATV Safety Institute. Riders can also check with the National 4-H Council, local ATV rider groups, state agencies and some ATV manufacturers.