OHV regulations for youth riders


Why children are at risk operating OHVs

Children cannot maintain position or control without increased risk of falling or being thrown from the machine because:

  • Leg length - A minimum of 3 inches of clearance between the seat and the top inseam of the pants when standing on the foot rests is required to enable the operator to maintain balance on the foot rests when turning and riding over hills and rough terrain.
  • Arm length - While seated on the machine and gripping the handle bars there should be a distinct bend in the arm at the elbow. Without a bend, there will not be sufficient reach to properly grip the handle bars when turning.
  • Hand size - While gripping the handle bar with fingers extended to the brake lever, the first joint of the index finger should extend beyond the brake lever. If it doesn't, the hand is too small to safely operate the brake.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) states that a variety of factors converge to place children at risk as operators of OHVs including:

  • Children believe products purchased by their parents are safe.
  • Danger and risk are underestimated because of the child's own lack of experience with accidents.
  • Children between the ages of 12 and 15 often overestimate their skills, particularly with increased experience.
  • Children can easily get into trouble trying to imitate more complex maneuvers of older friends.