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How young is too young to ride an ATV?

A recent fatal accident in Greene County is a reminder of the risk children and teens face when they ride ATVs. The boy killed in this accident was 12 years old, and had been riding his ATV on private property when the crash occurred. 

While 12 may sound like a tender age for operating an ATV, children in Pennsylvania are allowed to ride ATVs as early as age 8, under certain limited circumstances. A child of this boy's age would be legally allowed to ride an ATV in Pennsylvania if he or she possessed a safety certificate, was accompanied by an ATV safety instructor during a training course, or was riding on land owned or leased by his or her parents or guardians. Children as young as 8 are allowed to ride ATVs on public lands in Pennsylvania, although they may not operate a vehicle with an engine size greater than 70 cc until age 10. 

While the laws in each state can vary, we urge you to read the PA State ATV laws that can be found online at the DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES website. 

If you or someone you know has been injured in a recreational ATV accident, please contact us at 610.625.2100 we have attorneys who are here to help. 

All ATV riders are required to wear helmets in Pennsylvania. However, a helmet does not protect children (or adults) from every kind of injury. Crush injuries and fractures can occur as a result of ATV use. And even wearing a helmet doesn't completely protect riders against all head injuries. 

It's important to remember, however, that not every ATV accident is the fault of the rider. Unsafe property, defective equipment and other negligent motorists can all contribute to recreational vehicle accidents that result in severe injuries or even death. If you or a loved one has been in an accident on a recreational vehicle, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options and whether an investigation and/or lawsuit may be appropriate for your situation. 

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