Skip to main content

Motorcycle and Atv Safety

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 6, 2023.

Motorcycle and ATV safety means protecting yourself from injury by learning how to ride safely. Be a good role model for your child by following all safety rules. Make it a rule that your child cannot continue to ride if he does not follow safety guidelines.


Risks for injury on a motorcycle or ATV:

ATVs and motorcycles are more dangerous than cars because your body is exposed. They are also more dangerous because they can travel at high speeds. This increases your risk of injury and broken bones if you are in a crash. The following may increase your risk for injury:

  • You are younger than 16 years. Children have the highest risk for injury or death on these vehicles. They may be injured both as drivers or passengers. Children typically do not have the knowledge to ride safely.
  • You take turns too quickly or race. ATVs and motorcycles are top heavy and can tip easily. You may be thrown off or your vehicle may roll over. Your risk for injury and death increases if you race or jump your motorcycle or ATV.
  • You hit an object. You can lose control of your vehicle if you hit rocks, bumps, or potholes. You may hit a tree, flip backwards, or fall off.
  • You do not protect your head. You are at risk for head and facial injuries if do not wear a helmet.
  • You ride in areas that are not safe. You are at risk for injury if you ride in an open field where fences are hard to see. Fence wires may hurt your head, neck, face, or torso if you run into them at high speeds. You are also at risk if you drive an ATV on a road meant for cars.
  • You ride with an exposed engine. This increases your chances of burning your leg or other body part.
  • You drink alcohol or use drugs and then drive a motorcycle or ATV. Alcohol and drugs decrease your ability to think clearly and react quickly.

General safety guidelines:

  • Read all warning labels before you drive.
  • Place an engine cover on your vehicle if the engine is exposed to prevent burns.
  • Do not drive at night. This makes it hard for you to see or to be seen by others.
  • Never drink alcohol or use drugs and drive an ATV or motorcycle. Do not drive while you are tired.
  • Drive slowly so you do not lose control. Do not take sharp turns.
  • Check the brakes, lights, tire pressure, and controls before you drive. Adjust mirrors if needed.

General safety guidelines for riding a motorcycle:

  • Do not let any child younger than 16 years drive a motorcycle. It is not legal for children younger than 16 years to drive a motorcycle. Any driver of a motorcycle may need a separate driver's license for motorcycles.
  • It is safer for only 1 person at a time to ride a motorcycle. If you do carry a passenger, he must wear the same protective gear you wear. Do not allow passengers to do tricks or to distract you as you drive.
  • Place an engine cover on your vehicle if the engine is exposed to prevent burns.
  • Take a training course if you plan to drive a motorcycle.
  • Drive your motorcycle with defense. Pretend other cars cannot see you, and try to stay in plain view. Practice driving your motorcycle before you drive in heavy traffic. Follow the laws of the road.
  • Watch the road for bumps, potholes, or any changes that may put you in danger. Keep space between you and other cars so you have time to react in case they swerve in front of you.
  • Flash your brake lights before you slow down or stop. Use your blinkers when you turn or change lanes.
  • Do not ride in another driver's blind spot. This is the area behind a driver on either side where it is hard for the driver to see other vehicles. Honk your horn if another driver starts to move into your area.

General safety guidelines for riding an ATV:

An ATV is a vehicle designed to ride on rugged land or land that is not paved.

  • Do not ride an ATV that has 3 wheels. ATVs with 4 wheels are more stable than ones with 3 wheels.
  • Only allow 1 person at a time to ride an ATV.
  • A child can drive an ATV without a license, but this does not mean ATVs are safe for your child. Follow the minimum age rules for the ATV your child is using. You will still need to decide if your child is ready to drive an ATV. He needs to have good vision, coordination, and reflexes. He needs to be tall enough to reach all controls and stand comfortably. He also needs to be able to drive responsibly. This means not speeding, not doing tricks or stunts, and not racing other drivers.
  • An adult always needs to supervise a child who is driving an ATV.
  • Do not drive ATVs on roads that are meant for cars. This is not legal and can be dangerous. Find trails that are marked for ATVs.

Gear to protect you on a motorcycle or ATV:

  • Always wear a helmet when you are on ATVs and motorcycles. Use a helmet that is made to be worn on a motorcycle. Find a helmet with a face mask to protect your eyes and face while you ride. Wear sunglasses or other eye protection if your helmet does not have a face mask. Wear seat belts if your vehicle has them. You may be able to get seat belts installed in your vehicle.
  • Wear bright, protective clothing that covers your whole body, including boots, coats, and gloves. Wear leather or thick clothing. Wear a sturdy, light-colored helmet instead of a dark one so others can see you better.
  • Use lights, reflectors, and flags to make yourself more visible, even during daylight.
Motorcycle ATV Protective Wear

© Copyright Merative 2023 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.