ATV Safety Toolkit

ATVs are powerful, fast and potentially dangerous. Take knowledge to the extreme and learn the golden rules of safe riding.

 

Key Points

 

With more than 800 deaths and 135,000 injuries occurring each year, ATV safety is a critically important issue for communities and riders across the country. About one-third of ATV-related deaths and injuries are to children under 16 years old. Like other activities involving high speeds and heavy machinery, riding an ATV can be dangerous and certain behaviors will increase the risk of injury or death.

 

Get Trained

 

Take a hands-on safety training course. Drivers with formal, hands-on ATV training have a lower injury risk than drivers with no formal training.

 

Always Wear Protective Gear

 

Many ATV injuries are head injuries. Wearing a helmet may prevent or reduce the severity of these injuries. In addition, wear over-the-ankle boots, goggles, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect against cuts, abrasions, and other injuries from rocks, trees and other debris.

 

Do Not Drive ATVs with a Passenger or Ride as a Passenger

 

Nearly all ATVs are designed to carry only one person. ATVs are designed for interactive riding – drivers must be able to shift their weight freely in all directions, depending on the situation and terrain. Interactive riding is critical to maintaining safe control of an ATV especially on varying terrain. Passengers can make it very difficult for drivers to control the ATV.

 

Do Not Drive ATVs on Paved Roads

 

ATVs are very difficult to control on paved roads. Collisions with cars and other vehicles have also led to many fatalities involving ATVs operated on paved roads.

 

Do Not Permit Children to Drive or Ride Adult ATVs

 

Children are involved in about 30 percent of all ATV-related deaths and emergency room-treated injuries. Most of these deaths and injuries occur when a child is driving or riding on an adult ATV. Children younger than 16 are twice as likely to be injured on adult ATVs as compared to those riding youth ATVs.

 

Do Not Drive ATVs While under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

 

Alcohol and drugs impair reaction time and judgment, two essential skills for safe ATV use.

  

Resources

 

ATVSafety.gov

A comprehensive Web site with safety information, training course links, ATV recalls, and state and national information.

 

All Terrain Vehicle Safety

Provides safety tips for riders.

 

Partners

 

4-H ATV Safety Program

The 4-H ATV Safety Program helps young people, parents, caregivers and other community members come together to help ensure that every ATV ride is a safe ride. The 4-H ATV Safety Program was designed to offer curriculum and materials to develop or enhance your local efforts.