Facts about ATV Injuries:
Youth under 16 years operating an ATV are four times more likely to experience an injury requiring an emergency department visit. Injuries commonly occur in rollover crashes, collisions with stationary objects and falling of the ATV. The hospitalization rate for children under 16 in ATV accidents increased 67% over from 2000 to 2004. The average cost of a child being sent to the hospital from an ATV accident is 44% higher than for bicycles. ATV crash is 12 times as likely to kill a child as a bicycle crash, and helmets provide only limited protection.
ATV Safety Questions:
What is the law for Florida?
- All ATVs operated on public land must be titled. There is no state registration requirement.
- All riders under 16 must wear a helmet and eye protection at all times.
- ATV use is prohibited on paved roads.
What do the doctors say?
- America's Doctors Believe ATVs Too Dangerous for
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOP) have adopted formal policies recommending that children under age 16 not drive ATVs.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics states: "Laws should prohibit the use of ATVs, on- or off-road, by children and adolescents younger than 16 years. An automobile driver's license, and preferably some additional certification in ATV use, should be required to operate an ATV. The safe use of ATVs requires the same or greater skill, judgment, and experience as needed to operate an automobile." (AAP, Policy Statement, All-Terrain Vehicle Injury Prevention: Two-, Three-, and Four-Wheeled Unlicensed Motor Vehicles, 2000)
- The American Academy of Pediatrics also describes child ATV use as "the perfect recipe for tragedy." (AAP press release, July 13, 2005)
If I still choose to let my child ride an ATV, what can I do to increase their safety?
- Wear a DOT-approved helmet with face protection
- ATV should be appropriate to the size of operator
- Take a hands-on safety training course. Formal training teaches drivers how to control ATVs in typical situations. Drivers with formal, hands-on ATV training have a lower injury risk than drivers with no formal training.
- Nationwide, approximately 130 children
under the age of 16 die each year as a
result of ATV-related injuries.
- An estimated 40,000 children under
the age of 16 are seriously injured
each year in ATV-related incidents.
- The number of ATV-related injuries
per year more than doubled between
1993 and 2006.
- A child riding an ATV is four times
more likely to be seriously injured
than a rider over the age of 16.