BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Riding an ATV as a child can be fun and exciting, but some thrills come with major safety risks.
“Many things if you’re not careful, can be dangerous,” Parts and Service Manager for United Cycle, Skyler Sallee, said.
This is especially true for children. According to West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety, children account for 16 percent of West Virginia ATV deaths.
That’s why it’s important to know how to be safe on these vehicles, starting with the vehicle itself.
“We do recommend you to follow the age standards on each four wheeler – different sizes are different ages – and you’re supposed to follow those,” Sallee said.
Salee told us, children under the age of 16 should not operate an ATV with an engine size greater than 90cc. An ATV with too much power can throw a child off. This is why helmet’s are necessary and so important.
Sallee said it’s important to have a helmet that’s DOT approved. This means the helmet meets the safety standards of the United States Department of Transportation.
“There’s a lot of eBay helmets that are just quite frankly not very good, and a lot of people get those but you really gave to invest in a good helmet to keep your brain safe,” Sallee explained.
Overall, it’s important to be cautious.
“It could be your own well-being that could be in danger if you’re not careful, or even other people hitting you, or just nature itself – running into trees. So, really, it’s just being responsible,” Sallee said.
According to West Virginia law, a legal guardian who is responsible for a child under 18-years-old, who knows they’re riding an ATV without a helmet, could be fined or have to perform community service.
For more information on rules and safety regulations, visit http://www.SRHSP.com.