Pause before letting your child drive an ATV, serious injuries are more likely to result

Children on ATV
News4Jax reported that a 12-year-old was taken to UF Pediatrics in Gainesville for serious but non-life-threatening injuries in December. According to the FHP report, the child was driving a Yamaha Raptor four wheeler at a high rate of speed over a speed Hum on Jordan Street in Fort White Sunday afternoon. The four wheeler overturned and threw him off the bike.  As of now, charges are pending.
Why is it so important for children not to drive an ATV? According to Nemours Children’s Health System who supports the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement, children under 16 years of age 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. It is important to remember that: 24 percent of deaths related to ATVs occur in children under 16; and 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.

Follow and share these rules of the trail to make safety a part of the plan for every ride and help reduce ATV-related deaths and injuries where you live:

  • Do not drive ATVs on paved roads.
  • Do not allow a child under 16 to drive or ride an adult ATV
  • Always wear a helmet and other protective gear such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Take a hands-on safety training course.

The top 5 states with ATV injuries/deaths:

State Reported Deaths
Cumulative Percent of
U.S. Reported Deaths
Reported Deaths
Reported Deaths
(1982-2007) Children under 16
Total Reported
California 504 5% 124 108 628
Texas 478 11% 134 144 612
Pennsylvania 459 15% 112 111 571
West Virginia 444 20% 144 66 588
Kentucky 419 25% 120 89 539
Florida 407 29% 78 109 485


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