ATV Safety Training May Prevent Accidents
This post was written by Andrea Girones:
As experienced ATV accident lawyers serving the Ottawa area, Girones has served several clients who have been severely injured in ATV accidents. Many of these accidents were avoidable or could have been prevented if one or more drivers involved in the accident had been more experienced or knowledgeable.
A disproportionate number of injuries caused by ATV accidents seem to affect children and youth under the age of 19. Those under 19 years of age make up over 30% of Canadians requiring hospitalization due to an ATV accident each year and over 40% of deaths due to an ATV accident each year. Unfortunately, the frequency of injuries and deaths related to ATV use in North America is on the rise.
While the ATV industry recommends that children and youth under the age of 16 use child-sized ATVs with smaller engines (typically between 50 and 90 cubic centimeters in size), these vehicles are still capable of speeds up to 50 km per hour, which is fast enough that children can be seriously injured or killed if they are involved in an accident. While much research has been done on the causes of ATV-related injuries, no research to date has demonstrated that the use of child-sized ATVs with less powerful engines prevent injuries in children. In Canada, there are no laws or restrictions relating to the size of ATV ridden by children. These are recommendations only, based on the requirements in the United States.
The Canada Safety Council offers ATV rider courses, which may provide riders with the safety training that they need to avoid accidents. These courses train riders in the proper use and control of an ATV as well as how to read terrain, and how to turn the vehicle and climb hills safely. Course instructors have taken an instructor’s course and been certified by the Council.
In Ontario, there is no law requiring riders to take the ATV rider course or any safety training prior to riding an ATV. Riders over 16 who wish to ride an ATV on the side or across a street or highway must have a valid driver’s license. Those under the age of 16 are not supposed to ride an ATV on or across a road.
ATVs can provide riders with much recreational enjoyment. They are also frequently used for work purposes. An ATV safety training course, such as the ATV rider course may help prevent accidents causing catastrophic injury or death.