ATV Safety

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Mississippians are 3.5 times more likely to die from an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident compared the 2010 national average.

ATV Risks

More than 200 Mississippians died from ATV injuries between 1998 and 2008, and injuries are rising fastest in children under 16. ATVs present unique dangers because they can reach high speed off the road where unpredictable conditions can cause collisions and rollovers. Mississippi has no safety legislation for ATVs, and many riders are either too young for their vehicle or do not wear helmets.

Safety Precautions

ATV riders, especially younger ones, should take strong safety precautions.

  • Equipment: Head injuries are the deadliest consequence of ATV accidents. Helmets can reduce the severity of head injuries, and save a life. Arms, legs and eyes are also exposed to injury from rocks, trees and other debris. You can help protect them by wearing gloves, long shirts and pants, and over-the-ankle boots.
  • Size and weight: ATVs for adults and children are not the same. If you're under 16, your chance of injury doubles if you are riding an ATV made for an adult. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for weight and size of the rider, and don't carry passengers unless your ATV is specifically designed to do so.
  • Roads: Paved roads may seem like a safer choice for ATV riding, particularly for new learners. But ATVs are not designed to make quick turns on pavement, and are likely to roll over. Keep off the road, and stay at a safe speed.
  • Instruction: Studies show that formal, hands-on ATV training lowers the risk of injury for adults and children.

More Information

  • Fact Sheets
    See the resources below
Last reviewed on Jun 21, 2017 request edits
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

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