How to Ride Your ATV Safely with Kids

 

Taking long rides on your ATV can be a fun activity. However, if you want to enjoy this experience in the company of your children, there are a couple of tips and tricks that you might want to know.

Can children operate ATVs?

Although no general guidelines have been imposed, in some states, children under 16 are not allowed to operate ATVs. According to the experts, children do not have the knowledge, judgment or the necessary strength to drive such vehicles. What is more, many children have a tendency to take risks and to be impulsive, which, sadly, can result in unfortunate accidents.

Studies have shown that children under 19 years of age caused more than 33% of ATV-related accidents that resulted in serious injuries that required medical attention and hospitalization.

Because most ATVs are meant to be utilized by a single person, you should not take on passengers if your device was not intended to transport more than one person.  If you decide to break this rule, the balance of the device will be affected and the risks of an accident will increase.

 

What can you do to ride safely?

Firstly, you should utilize a four-wheel ATV rather than a three-wheel vehicle. This is important because three-wheeled models are more unstable and more likely to be involved in incidents. Next, before you or another member of your family decides to operate such a vehicle, you should take an approved training course. After attending specialized classes, you will have to pass an exam that proves that you have both the skills and the knowledge necessary to ride an ATV.

Additionally, it is strongly advisable that all ATV riders/passengers use specialized protective gear. Therefore, you should invest in a government-certified safety helmet. These helmets are very protective, and they are said to reduce fatal head injuries by 50%. Protective goggles are also great to have.

Just like in the case of bikes, the ATV that you decide to purchase should be size-appropriate. In other words, you should only ride on a vehicle that fits you. To make picking an ATV easy, most manufacturers provide their models with an age-sticker.

Because young riders do not have the necessary skills and experience, it is advisable that you do not allow them to take another passenger. Kids should only ride solo under your direct supervision.  

For extra safety, it is also best that kids (or anyone else) ride during the daytime, on marked trails. Although riding at night might seem more fun, doing so is highly risky and, as a result, not recommended. Some seasoned riders also advise in favor of having an emergency plan. For example, you should make sure that you have a first-aid kit with you as well as the means to call for an ambulance in case of an accident.