ATV or Dirtbike for Kids

To touch on an old topic, as the warm weather moves across the county, now may be a good time to remind parents why their children should be on dirt bikes as opposed to age inappropriate all-terrain vehicles.

From a parent’s perspective, I can see why four wheels can appear to be safer than two. After all, you hear all the time how people are getting hurt on motorcycles but perhaps you don’t hear the horror stories as often about ATV’s. When you do hear stories about ATV accidents, more often than not they involve children, children riding on or driving an ATV. As a parent, driving a car is no big deal, but the thought of driving a motorcycle can be quite intimidating, so why not put your child on four wheels?  Read on to see some very good reasons why ATV’s are more dangerous than dirt bikes for kids under 16.

 ATV or Dirtbike – Consider These Facts:

  • ATV’s are not meant for passengers- most accidents involve children and their friends riding on the back
  • ATV’s are easy to roll over – especially when on uneven terrain or with unforeseen obstacles
  • ATV’s weigh up to 800lbs – impossible to lift off an adult, let alone a child
  • ATV’s designed for Utility use can go up to 35mph while those designed for Sport use can go over 60 mph.
  • Children do not have the knowledge, strength, size, cognitive or motor skills to drive a car and the same goes for an ATV.

Dirt bikes, on the other hand, can be as small as 50ccs with throttle limiters that can keep them as slow as a healthy adult can jog.  If a child falls over on a Dirt Bike they won’t be crushed under the weight of the vehicle. There is no room for a passenger on a Dirt bike, hopefully deterring the rider from the thought of carrying one. 

When considering the purchase of a motorized vehicle for a young child, consider an age, size, weight and experience and choose the appropriate dirt bike for that child. It is against the law for dealers to sell an ATV when they know the operator will be under the appropriate age set by the manufacturer. Any reputable dealership will try to steer you and your child to the safest vehicle, not the most profitable vehicle. 

Finally, when you do choose the right bike for your child, make sure to get all the appropriate gear.  A helmet, protective eyewear, boots, and gloves are a great start, but don’t forget the chest protectors and shin guards too.