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Course Outline

Nationwide, children under the age of 16 are at risk of injury and death when operating an ORV. 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: Most children up to age 16 are at risk when operating ORVs 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.
Parent instructing child how to operate an ATV
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