All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are often used for recreation and transportation. Child Safety Link has significant concerns regarding the use of ATVs by children and youth due to the very high risk of serious injury and death.
- Children under 16 do not have the physical or cognitive maturity to safely drive ATVs.
- Children lack the physical strength needed to manage these heavy vehicles.
- Children’s motor skills are underdeveloped, making them much less likely to be able to navigate through dangerous terrain and react appropriately.
- In Canada, 25% of all ATV-related deaths are children and youth 15 and younger.
- Children and youth (19 and younger) account for 34% of all ATV-related hospitalizations.
- Injuries from ATV incidents are often severe, with 20% involving some form of head trauma.
What does this mean?
Do not allow a child under the age of 16 to operate or ride on an ATV.
Child-sized ATVs do not provide any added level of safety.
For children 16 or older:
- Make sure they’re wearing appropriate safety equipment (helmet, eye protection, safety clothing).
- Make sure they receive the appropriate safety training.
- Make sure they’re not under the influence of alcohol or other drugs while operating an ATV.
- Use of ATVs between dusk and dawn should be strongly discouraged due to reduced visibility.