Family ATV Safety Tips
All-terrain vehicles (ATVS) can be adventurous and thrilling. They are also powerful and can be difficult to control, especially at high speeds. Make sure all family members are prepared for the responsibility of the ride with these ATV safety tips.
Who Can Ride?
Children eight and under ideally should not be on an ATV, even as a passenger. ATV’s can travel up to 105 km/h and weigh up to 272 kg. According to My Health Alberta, the biggest problems with younger passengers is they're usually on ATVs that aren't designed and built to carry them. If an ATV is designed for passengers, those passengers can be eight or older and 16 and older to drive. This is because children don’t necessarily have the strength, skill, or ability to judge fast enough if something is dangerous. They are two to five times more likely than adults to be injured, even when riding “youth-sized” ATVs. Those who can operate an ATV or be a passenger, must ride smart and understand the potential risks.
What Can you Wear?
When riding an ATV, make sure you have the proper gear. Starting with protecting your head, wear an approved motorcycle or ATV helmet, which fits well and is secure enough. As stylish as they are, sunglasses are not suited for ATV life. Instead, wear proper riding goggles. For your hand, riding gloves are ideal. Depending on the weather you can either wear a light jacket, a sweater or a long-sleeve shirt. If you’re more on the sporty side, there are motocross and polyester jerseys you can wear. It is recommended to not wear shorts or a bathing suit, so make sure your legs are covered. Foot wise, hiking boots are best.
Where Can you Ride?
You can ride ATVs on scenic trails, bumpy terrain and gravel roads. Though, depending on where you live in Canada, the ATV laws can be different for each province. For instance in Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, allows ATVs on the shoulder of public roads, where permitted. An ATV can travel on Highways 500 to 899, several 7000-series highways and low traffic highways. They are prohibited from the 400 series highways, the Queen Elizabeth Way and sections of the Trans-Canada Highway.
When Can you Ride?
Always ride during the day. Riding at night can be dangerous to both you and other motorists sharing the same roads. Don’t use drugs or alcohol before riding an ATV. Be sure to put your phone away when riding to avoid distracted driving.
How Fast can you Go?
Depending on what type of ATV you own, there is a limit to how fast you can go. Some riders quench the need for speed and will buy an ATV with more horsepower. Some use ATVS for a more practical use such as transporting supplies, loading logs and field mowing. Either way, use your best judgement as you would driving a car and keep in mind of your speed; especially if there is a passenger on board.
Does an ATV need to be insured?
Similar to any other recreational vehicle, ATVs need to be insured. By law in Ontario, if you use an ATV on a public road, it’s mandatory. They can most likely be covered under your auto insurance policy. If you would like to get a quote for your ATV, contact one of our certified agents today.