Driving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) could be a fun way to get from one place to another without requiring an actual car. ATVs are perfect for drives in the woods, in the desert, and they even represent great accessories for hunters and fishermen who want to reach far destinations that wouldn’t be accessible otherwise.
Nevertheless, driving an ATV comes with its own set of rules and regulations that may vary from one state to another. Thus, we suggest you to carefully read the following and make sure you have the right type of license and the right age to drive an ATV.
As we previously mentioned, age restrictions for driving ATVs vary from one state to another, so it would be best to check out this website and read everything you need to know about registering an ATV in your state or the minimum age of the driver.
Some states might require a standard driver’s license while other states allow teenagers which are at least 14 years old to drive ATVs without specific permissions. Other states, on the contrary, will allow young adults that are at least 16 years old to drive this type of off-road vehicles only under the supervision of an adult, so, as you can see, it really depends on the state you live in.
As opposed to the United States, other countries like India have even more relaxed policies when it comes to ATVs. They aren’t really considered off-road vehicles, meaning you won’t need a special permit or even a driver’s license to drive them.
But, no matter your age and no matter how experienced you are as a driver, you still need to follow some standard precaution rules in order to avoid accidents and enjoy a fun ride.
First of all, children under 12 years should not be allowed to drive an ATV or should only be under the strict surveillance of an adult doing it. We strongly recommend you to take a safety certificate or attend a specific training camp to make sure you know everything about your vehicle and how to ride it without any risks.
Secondly, you should pick your ATV according to your height, size, age, and driving skills. If you’re still inexperienced, you shouldn’t yet buy and drive a powerful vehicle that might put you or anyone else in danger. Although ATVs don’t reach extraordinary speeds, they are still powerful enough to hurt you if you lose control of them.
Moreover, under no circumstances, should you drive an ATV without a protective helmet and suitable glasses. And, if you want to stay fully protected against cuts, wounds or scrapes, long pants, and over-the-ankle boots should also be part of your protective gear.
…and 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.