Children Are at Risk

Nationwide, statistics show that children under the age of 16 account for 40% of OHV accidents and fatalities. Several factors contribute to this risk.

Lack of Visual Adult Supervision

Physical Factors: A major cause of accidents among juvenile riders is riding a machine that's too large for them to handle physically.

  • Leg Length: When a child stands on the footrests, the top inseam of the pants should be a minimum of three inches above the seat. While seated, the thigh should be roughly parallel to the ground.
  • Foot Length: A child should be able to reach the brake by rotating the foot on the footrest.
  • Arm Length: When seated on the machine, a child's arms should be long enough to:
    • Turn the handlebars and maintain a firm grip.
    • Operate the throttle comfortably.
    • Operate the brake lever.
  • Strength: A child must have the strength to operate the controls properly.

Perceptual, Motor, and Maturity Factors: Children up to age 16 are at risk when operating OHVs because they:

  • Perceive distances to be greater than what they actually are.
  • Have a shorter attention span than adults.
  • React more slowly than adults.
  • Take more risks—particularly males—and perceive less danger in those risks than adults.
  • Try to imitate more complex maneuvers of parents or older friends.