Learning to drive an ATV can be challenging. Many deaths and injuries occur when an inexperienced driver loses control of an ATV, is thrown from an ATV, overturns the vehicle, or collides with a fixed object or a motor vehicle. Good ATV training teaches new drivers how to handle multiple off-road riding situations.
Experienced ATV drivers (with more than one year of experience) have a much lower risk of injury than relatively new drivers. Training can help bridge that gap. Yet, less than 10% of all ATV drivers and only about one-quarter of new drivers receive professional training.
All ATV drivers, including children under 16, should take a hands-on ATV safety course from a certified instructor. These courses are offered by the ATV Safety Institute, local ATV rider groups, some state departments of natural resources, state highway departments, and other agencies responsible for regulating ATV use. The National 4-H Council also sponsors educational seminars on safe riding for children and teenagers.
ATV manufacturers and distributors who are members of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) offer free training as well as cash awards and incentives to buyers who complete the ATV Safety Institute training course. Children under 16 can take the course only if they are on an age-appropriate ATV. Children younger than 12 who take the course must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian for the training.