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All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)

Child riding an all-terrain vehicle, wearing a helmet.

/ by UK HealthCare

The hard facts

ATV (all-terrain vehicle) riding has the highest risk of injury requiring hospitalization compared to other sports, including snowboarding, wrestling, football, basketball and skateboarding.

From 1982 through 2013, the Consumer Product Safety Commission received reports of 3,023 ATV-related fatalities of children younger than 16 years of age. Of those fatalities, 1,303 (43 percent) were younger than 12 years of age.    

According to the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky, 35 percent of ATV-related deaths involve people less than 16 years of age and nearly one-half of all individuals injured in ATV crashes are younger than 16 years of age.

The dangers of ATVs are real, but with proper education, safety habits and parental supervision, ATV-related injuries and deaths can be prevented.

Top tips for ATVs

  • Always wear a helmet for all rides.
  • Wear additional layers of protection: over-the-ankle boots, long pants, gloves, goggles and long sleeves to protect against cuts and abrasions and other injuries from rocks, trees and debris. 
  • Avoid paved roads and unfamiliar terrain as they can be dangerous for ATVs.
  • Stay on designated trails and off public roadways.
  • Attend an ATV safety course.

Useful websites

Brain Injury Association of Kentucky

ATV Safety Institute 

4-H ATV Safety

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Parents, it’s time to teach your kids the importance of helmets 7 surefire tips for children’s bike safety School bus safety
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