The Intermountain West has the fourth-highest traumatic brain injury hospitalization rate in the country for children ages five to 14. Almost seven percent of those injuries involve motor vehicles, including ATVs. Plus, a child’s risk of being hospitalized from riding an off-highway vehicle is a thousand times greater than riding in a car. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics made the following statement regarding motorized vehicles for children:
“Off-road vehicles are particularly dangerous for children younger than 16 years who may have immature judgment and motor skills. Children who are not licensed to drive a car should not be allowed to operate off-road vehicles. Injuries frequently occur to passengers; therefore riding double should not be permitted.
We want each and every ride to be a safe ride. So prepare ahead of time and stick to these safety guidelines:
- Protect yourself from head to toe with a helmet, goggles, long-sleeve shirt, gloves, sturdy pants and over-the-ankle boots.
- Every rider should be certified, but for those under 16 or without a driver license, it’s the law. Sign up now at Utah ATV Rider’s Ed Course or get certified at your off-highway vehicle retailer.
- Be responsible for your ride, and keep yourself and others safe. Stick to the right number of riders per ATV, including the right age and size for the vehicle. Don’t ride beyond your skill level. And stay off paved roads.