[PDF] Preventing injuries from all-terrain vehicles

Canadian Paediatric Society
Canadian Paediatric Society
Publication date:
31 May 2004



All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are three- or four-wheeled motorized cycles with large, low-pressure tyres, designed for a single operator riding in off-road areas. They are widely used in rural Canada for occupation, recreation, and transportation and are especially dangerous when used by children and young adolescents who lack the knowledge, physical size and strength, and cognitive and motor skills to operate them safely. The risk to young riders is reflected in industry literature, vehicle manuals and standard labels on current models, which warn of an increased risk of severe injury or death to riders under the age of 16 years. However, these warnings are not reflected in current CAnadian legislation  and ATVs are frequently used by children and young teens. Helmet use is infrequent in this population and unsafe riding behaviours, such as riding double and driving on public roads, are common. Restricting ridership among young operators and passengers, and improving compliance with established safety recommendations are essential for reducing the number and severity of ATV injuries in children.