West Virginia has the fifth-highest death toll of all-terrain vehicle riders in the country, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
According to the commission, 442 ATV deaths were recorded in West Virginia from 1982 to 2007. In contrast, Ohio had 272 deaths.
The No. 1 safety tip for kids, according to ATVSafety.gov is to keep children off adult-size ATVs. Children are involved in about one-third of all ATV-related deaths and hospital emergency room injuries, and most of these deaths and injuries occur when a child is driving or riding on an adult ATV, the commission says.
In fact, children under 16 on adult ATVs are twice as likely to be injured as those riding youth ATVs. Child-size ATVs are less expensive than full-size ones, and it might save your child's life.
The laws in West Virginia and Ohio state that all riders under 18 must wear helmets (in Ohio, all riders must wear a helmet and eye protection while on state forest riding areas).
In West Virginia, riders under 18 must complete a rider safety awareness course. No passengers are permitted except if the ATV is designed for a passenger or if the passenger is at least age 18 and the operator is at least 18 and has a driver's license.
The No. 1 safety tip for kids, according to ATVSafety.gov is to keep children off adult-size ATVs.
In Ohio, to operate an ATV on public lands, one must have a driver's license or motorcycle endorsement; the Department of Natural Resources may permit a person at least 12 to operate on department land if accompanied by a parent.
In addition, no one under 16 may operate an ATV unless on land owned by a parent or accompanied by an adult 18 or older.