ATV Safety

Children and adolescents riding on ATVs are at risk of serious injury or even death. Nemours Children’s supports the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement, which strongly recommends that children under the age of 16 not ride ATVs. Children under 16 lack the physical strength, coordination and judgment to drive an ATV safely in all situations. ATV crashes can lead to significant head and neck injuries, abdominal trauma and even loss of life.

  • 24 percent of deaths related to ATVs occur in children under 16.
  • Children under 16 make up almost one-third of the estimated ATV-related injuries treated in emergency departments each year.

Riding ATVs can be dangerous for children under 16 for a number of reasons:

  • ATVs have a high center of gravity, creating a tendency to roll over.
  • ATVs can sustain high rates of speed.
  • ATVs can weigh up to 850 lbs.

What You Should Know About ATV Safety

If you or your family members choose to ride an ATV, we urge you to do it safely. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s minimum age recommendation.
  • Participate in an ATV safety training course.
  • Always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing.
  • Do not drive with (or be) a passenger on an ATV.
  • Avoid riding at night.
  • Use caution on uneven terrain.
  • Never drive an ATV on paved roads.
  • Never operate an ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Learn More About ATV Safety

Here are some resources from, the No.1 most-viewed health site for children, created by the experts at Nemours, and other organizations that promote ATV safety.

Delaware Has New Regulations for ATV Riders

New Regulations For Kids Riding ATVs


  • All ATV operators under 18 must wear helmets meeting U.S. Department of Transportation standards

No Passengers

  • No ATV drivers under 18 may carry passengers
  • No one under 18 can be a passenger on an ATV unless the driver is 18 or older and the ATV is designed for passengers