Reduce Your ATV Injury Risk with These Safety Tips - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Friday, 24 March 2017

Reduce Your ATV Injury Risk with These Safety Tips

#AskCoryRubin

ATV use is on the rise in Ontario. With an increased use of ATVs comes an increased risk of injuries. Statistics involving ATV injuries in Ontario are staggering. Sadly, a quarter of the people who die as a result of injuries from an ATV accident are under the age of 15 years.


Most ATV Accidents Are the Result of Operator Error

Although there are some incidents where an ATV accident occurs because of the driver of another vehicle, such as a car, most ATV accidents are the result of operator error. With children, this is even more common because of their inexperience in operating an ATV. If you or your child are going to ride ATVs in Ontario, follow these safety tips in order to reduce your risks.

Always Follow the Ontario Off-Roads Vehicle Act

In 1990, the Ontario Off-Roads Vehicle Act was passed. This Act presents common sense legal requirements of operating an ATV in Ontario.

  • Anyone who drives an ATV must be at least 12 years of age unless they are fully supervised by an adult or if they are riding on land owned by the person who owns the ATV. As an example, if your child is 11 years old and they are riding an ATV on land that you own, that would be an exception to this requirement. However, you should supervise your child at all times.
  • A registration permit must be kept with the ATV at all times.
  • The driver and the passenger must wear a government approved helmet that is fastened with a chin strap.

If the driver does not own the ATV, he or she may be held legally responsible for damages to the ATV, another person, or even property. The owner of the ATV may also be responsible even if they were not the driver or the passenger provided that they consented to someone else driving the ATV.

Follow Proper Safety Precautions on Ontario Roads

The Act also lays out requirements for operating an ATV on the roads of Ontario.

  • The driver of the ATV must be at least 16 years old.
  • The driver of the ATV must hold at least a G2 or an M2 license.
  • The driver must wear an approved motorcycle helmet that is fastened with a chin strap.
  • If the ATV has a seatbelt, it must be used.
  • They must follow minimum speed limits. On roads where the posted speed is 50 km/h or less, they may drive no more than 20 km/h. On roads where the posted speed limit is over 50 km/h, they may drive no more than 50 km/h.
  • ATV drivers must drive in the same direction as traffic.
  • ATV drivers should drive on the shoulder of the road unless the shoulder is impassable or unsafe.
  • The ATV must have headlights and tail lights.
  • Passengers must be at least 8 years old.
  • If the ATV has a seatbelt, the passenger must use it.
  • Passengers must wear an approved motorcycle helmet that fastens with a chin strap.

Children Should Use Smaller ATVs

Most families in Ontario who own ATVs only own one adult sized vehicle. To protect your children, they should only drive child-size ATVs with smaller engines and wear all of the proper safety gear. Child-sized ATVs are easier for children to control. Should a child panic and accidently accelerate instead of brake, they are less likely to be involved in a fatality should the ATV flip over.

Hurt in an ATV Accident?

If you were hurt in an ATV accident, call Diamond and Diamond. Our team of lawyers have vast experience handling personal injury as a result of ATV accidents. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now.We offer free consultations and case evaluations. Our law firm has 12 offices to serve clients throughout Ontario.

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