One of the first questions parents need to ask themselves is whether their child is old enough, big enough, and mature enough to handle an ATV. You know your child better than anyone and you are best suited to evaluate your child’s readiness to ride an ATV. ATVs are not toys, and your child needs to understand that.
Are They Ready?
The ATV Safety Institute in the USA has developed an ATV Readiness Checklist to help parents evaluate whether or not their child is ready to learn how to ride an ATV. There is no sure way to predict whether your child will be able to ride an ATV safely. Only you as the parent can decide if your child has the capabilities and qualities to safely operate an ATV
The decision is yours. The ATV Safety Institute makes no suggestions as to how many of the abilities outlined in the ATV Readiness Checklist are necessary, nor the degree of ability that your child should have.
For more information about evaluating your kids, order the ASI publication Parents, Youngsters and ATVs.
If you decide your child is ready to ride an ATV, make sure they are on an age-appropriate vehicle. Every ATV made by our Members comes with a warning label with the manufacturer’s minimum age recommendation. Find it. Know it. Enforce it.
For adults, there are sport and utility ATVs, and for younger riders there are three different categories. The youth categories are designed for smaller hands and feet, and travel at slower speeds appropriate for their age.
Every ATV made by our Members comes with a warning label, clearly stating the minimum age of the rider. Not sure where to look? This label is affixed so it can easily be read by the rider when seated in the proper operating position.
Find it. Know it. Enforce it.
Simply put, your child’s safety depends on it. ATVs intended for use by adults (16 years of age and older) have greater speed and performance capabilities and are larger and heavier than youth ATV models. An ATV is not a toy and can be hazardous to operate if you don’t follow the Golden Rules. ATVs handle differently from other vehicles, including cars, motorcycles and side-by-side vehicles.
If you are going to train and supervise your child, you need to prepare yourself first! The best thing you can do for yourself and your child is to take an ATV RiderCourse. Even better, take an ATV RiderCourse with your kids. You’ll have a great time together and you will show by example safe ATV riding skills.
To start, make sure you are familiar with the ATV your child will be using. Read the Owner’s Manual, take note of any warning labels on the vehicle, and familiarise yourself with the controls so that they are second nature to you.
Next, put into memory the ATV Safety Institute’s Golden Rules:
Only you can help your child ride sensibly and safely. Setting some ground rules for when they can ride their ATV is a good idea and it will reinforce the serious nature and responsibility that comes with ATV riding.
This booklet provides important ATV safety information and tips on learning to ride.
It’s divided into four parts:
Part 1: Determining Your Youngster’s Readiness To Ride An ATV
Part 2: Pre-Operating Procedures
Part 3: Operating Procedures
Part 4: Readiness Checklist