Is ATV Riding Dangerous for Kids?

Lots of parents ask me if ATV is a dangerous sport for kids. The truth is that ATV is a very dangerous sport for kids just like any other sport, and if your child doesn’t keep to the safety rules, it will be even more dangerous for them.

I am not saying that ATV is not suitable for children, just that every parent must know that it is a dangerous sport.

In fact, there are lots of things you can do to minimize the risk of your child having accidents while they ride.

In this post, I will show you all the things you need to know to make sure your child is safe while riding an ATV and also all the dangers associated with them.

So, let’s get started.

Need ATV or dirt bike safety gear? Click here to buy safety gear for dirt bike riding on amazon , or go check my sales pages of recommended safety gear page click here to view.

Why is ATV so dangerous?

ATVs are undoubtedly very dangerous, especially for children.

In fact, 1/3 of those killed in ATV accidents are children under the age of 16, which can raise a lot of concern.

ATVs are dangerous because they have a very high center of gravity, which means that most of the ATV’s weight is found in the upper parts of the seat, which is higher than the ground. This gives no weight and stability to the wheels or the bottom of the ATV, thus making them unstable and more dangerous.

But before you give up on your child riding an ATV, there are some facts and statistics that will surprise you.

ATV accident statistics

  • 1/3 of those killed in ATV accidents are children under the age of 16.
  • In the past year, approximately 40,000 children were treated at a hospital because of ATV accidents.
  • The number of casualties that went to hospital due to ATV accidents increased by 4 percent in the past year.
  • Between 2007 – 2016, there was a decrease of 35 percent of children under the age of 16 who arrived in the emergency department as a result of ATV accidents.
  • In 2015, approximately 73 children younger than 16 years old died, and approximately 26,000 people were seriously injured as a result of an ATV accident.
  • In 2016, approximately 53 children under the age of 16 were killed, 20 percent of those were killed in ATV accidents and approximately 43 children were under the age of 12.

Examples of injuries to children under the age of 16 caused by ATV accidents

  • A teenager, aged 17 who lived in Washington, died because he crashed his ATV into a tree.
  • A 9-year-old boy who lived in the Netherlands died because he lost control of his ATV and hit another ATV rider.
  • A 4-year-old girl from the United States has died in a bugle that flipped from her ATV.
  • A 13-year-old, his cousin and his mother died because they were traveling at high speed on their ATV and crashed into a car.
  • A 15-year-old boy from Michigan died due to his ATV rolling over him because he was riding at a very high speed and he was even wearing a helmet.

How kids can be safer when riding an ATV

To keep your child safe while riding, I have listed the following 8 tips.

1. Give your child a safety course – one of the best things you can do is give your child a safety course.

In fact, a safety course usually doesn’t cost a lot of money, and it will teach your child lots of things to help them ride on their ATV more safely.

2. Wear good protective gear – Good protective gear will protect your child by more than 50 percent and will give them more confidence as an ATV rider.

For those who do not know, safety equipment includes; long pants, helmet, long shirt, shields, riding boots, gloves and goggles.

It is also very important that you know that the more money you spend on protective gear, the higher the quality will be and it will better protect your child.

3. Do not ride at high speed – High speed riding can seriously endanger your child.

You must always keep an eye on your child and check that they are not riding at high speeds. Make sure that you buy them an ATV with a 50cc engine size because higher volume engines can be very dangerous for your child.

4. Do not ride in difficult riding areas – The worst thing you can do for your child is to let them ride their ATV in difficult riding areas such as mountains, rocks, or steep surfaces.

If your child is a beginner rider, it’s best to take them to places where the area is good and safe to ride on, such as flat terrain that is grassy, or even fields.

5. Do not let your child ride with another passenger – if your child rides with another friend on their ATV, this can cause a very high load on the ATV which increases the risk of your child having an accident.

6. Look after your child – Under no circumstances should you let your child ride an ATV alone without your supervision.

You must look after your child while they ride on their ATV, especially for the first time. Only after you trust them to be able to ride alone on the ATV can you supervise them less.

7. Letting your child ride an ATV that fits their size – If the height and size of the ATV is not appropriate for your child, it can be very dangerous and increase the risk of an accident because they will not be able to put their feet on the ground or control the ATV well.

Also, I highly recommend you go and read the guide I wrote that will show you how to choose the right ATV size for your child.

8. Always check the ATV’s tires – It is very important to check before every ride that the ATV’s tires are inflated and stable and that there are no punctures. If the ATV has a puncture it can cause it to crash on, which can potentially be life threatening for the rider.

Where your child should ride

Riding tracks – The best place you can take your child for a ride is an ATV riding track. In fact, it is the safest place for your child to ride because the routes there are specially designed for ATVs.

Riding club – If your child loves ATV and rides daily, a riding club is definitely one of the best options for your child.

Usually, a riding club has trainers and ATV tracks that your child can practice their riding skills. Also, your child will be able to meet new friends.

Public parks – Another place to ride safely is public parks. If you have a big public park near to your home, I highly recommend taking your child there because the park area is grass, which is safer to ride on.

Where your child should not ride

Where there are rocks – You should never take your child to places with rocks because if your child crashes their ATV it can cause them very serious injuries and may even be life threatening.

Mountains – Mountains are perhaps the most dangerous place you can let your child ride. Unlike dirt bikes or mountain bikes, ATVs are really unstable on mountains and very difficult to control, and the chance of an accident is very high.

Dunes – Dunes are one of the most difficult and deadly places to ride an ATV. The problem with dunes is that they are very steep and very difficult to ride. Also, the most likely accident that makes dune riding very deadly is the likelihood of the ATV flipping over, which can be life threatening.


To summarize today, I have shown you all the things you need to know about the risk of riding on an ATV.

In general, ATV is a very dangerous sport for kids but if you keep to all the safety rules and implement the tips I have showed you, I can tell you for sure that riding an ATV will be much safer for your child.

Need ATV or dirt bike safety gear? Click here to buy safety gear for dirt bike riding on amazon , or go check my sales pages of recommended safety gear page click here to view.

Thanks for riding. Until the next time.


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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