An all-terrain vehicle or ATV is growing up to be a popular activity for someone who wants to get down and dirty. These activities are great for adults but also emerging as great for the kids. However, there has been an increase in the incidence of ATV-related deaths and injuries, especially among kids. According to data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 99,600 ATV-related injuries in the United States in 2013, the most recent reporting year. From that number, 25 percent were in children below 16 years old.
Research revealed that fast speeds, lack of helmet, and multiple riders are some of the reason’s children get injured in an ATV. While they have a large chassis and high center of gravity, ATVs can be considered unsafe for children. They can go 80 miles an hour on a flat surface without a harness, seat belt, or cab for protection. They also do not have airbags. Aside from that, the age limit of ATV drivers is being regulated by the state. As a parent, you should know that ATVs are not toys but can be an unsafe motor vehicle.
Although most states regulate kids ATV, there is no clear policy on preventing injuries in these vehicles. The risk of spine and non-spine injuries are quite high. Musculoskeletal injuries are also one of the most common ATV-related injuries. As a parent, no one is stopping you from letting your kids experience riding an ATV. However, it is your job to make sure that the ATV they will be riding on is safe. Kidsridewild.com recommend the following tips to ensure a safe ATV riding experience for your kids.
Check the engine
It is important for you to know if the ATV is designed for kids. The good news is that ATV manufacturers do give the engine specification as well as the rate of power and motor. Kids 4 to 8 years old can handle ATV with 90 to the 350W motor while kids more than 8 years old can ride on ATVs with 350 watts and above the engine. Adult kids can ride ATVs with 90cc to 350cc advanced engines.
It is worth noting that even though the child is of the recommended age for a particular ATV, they may not have the strength, skill, or judgment needed to safely operate the vehicle. On the other hand, some 16-year old teenagers are matured enough and fully capable of safely operating ATVs larger than 90cc. You still have the final say whether to allow your kid to ride the ATV. Safety should always be your primary concern when choosing the right size of ATV for your child.
Ensure that the features of the ATV can be easily controlled by your kid without stress. A manual clutch ATV can be quite difficult for kids who are just new to riding these vehicles. It is best to choose an automatic transmission ATV.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that parents should adhere to the following safety rules when allowing their kids to ride an ATV:
- Do not drive ATVs on paved roads
- Do not let a child below 16 years old drive or ride an adult TV
- Do not drive ATVs with commuter or ride as a commuter
- Ensure your kids put on other protective gears such as cloth, ankle pad, elbow pad, gloves, and safety boot
- Do not allow your kids to ride without your supervision
- Choose the right ATV with speed limit option with other safety features such as seat belt, engine cover and roll bar.
Safety Tips on Riding on ATVs
Riding an ATV can be a thrilling experience. In most states, it is legal for teens to ride on ATVs even if they do not possess a driver’s license. However, there are also some risks that you can encounter when riding on them. Here are some tips for staying safe on an ATV.
- Be at least 16 years old. Just like driving a car, ATVs require quick adjustments such as speeding up, slowing down, or shifting weight to turn the ATV. Kids who are less than 16 years old are unlikely to have the physical strength and quick decision making necessary for safely driving an ATV.
- Get certified.
Before riding an ATV on a trail, practice doing it safely in a controlled setting. Teens who are 16-years old and above who plans to ride an ATV should first have a safety certificate as required by the state.
- Ride an ATV that is suitable for your size and age.
Full-size ATVs can weigh over 600 pounds and can be difficult to handle. Choose an ATV that is right for your age as reflected on the manufacturer’s warning label.
- Wear an approved helmet and eye protection.
In most states, helmets and eye protection are required by law. The best helmets for riding on an ATV are the full-faced ones that comply with the safety standards of the Department of Transportation.
- Wear tall pants, extended sleeves, gloves, and over-the-ankle boots.
ATVs have a high center of gravity and do not have safety cages, roll bars, or seatbelts. If they tip, you can easily fall that is why it is important to wear protective gear to prevent scrapes and cuts in case you fall from an ATV.
This is John O. Brooks. A passionate content writer who Love to read and passing time with kids.