All terrain vehicles - ATVs- know the rules for safe riding

July 23, 2016, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

The Road Less Traveled By

ATVs and How to safely enjoy them this summer

Own an ATV? That’s great! But, do you know Ontario’s health and safety policies for ATV’s?  .

Image result for atv

ATV’s (all-terrain vehicles) and ORV’s (off-road vehicles) are single rider or double passenger utility vehicles. Like the name suggests, these vehicles can be used in other environments, which why many can be seen tearing it up on dirt trails, or on open fields. Off-road, ATV’s can be driven on private property, crown land, and on trails except for Provincial Parks.  On-road, ATV’s can drive on the shoulder of low traffic highways, 500 to 899 highways, and the 7000 series roads.

Who and what age you have to be to drive an ATV all depends on where you’re driving. On-road, you have to be over sixteen with a valid license of a G2, M2, or greater. Riders can’t even cross a road with an ATV if they’re not old enough! These types of drivers are also allowed to carry passengers (if their vehicle allows passengers) over the age of 8, and are tall enough to use the foot pedals. Off-road, riders have to be 12 and older, unless they are under adult supervision.

While ATV riding is a fun pastime for many Canadians, it is important to practice and follow ATV rules and regulations for your own health and safety. According to, ATV accidents have resulted in 13 per cent of all hospitalizations, and 11 per cent of total disability. The Simcoe Reformer reported that 9 people had died from ATV accidents in 2015, and Algoma Public Health had reported that 25 per cent of all ATV deaths occur to children 15 and under, and head injuries were the leading cause. Studies done in the U.S. have reported that 15-19 year-olds are the most at risk for ATV accidents. 

Besides the risks, ATV drivers should also follow the laws place by the Highway Traffic Act, Criminal Code of Canada, and the Off-Roads Vehicle Act. Never should an ATV driver drive impaired. That is a health and safety risk, and a legal offence that could result in suspension or loss of license. ATV drivers should also check regulation for new laws or changes to old ones. July 1st, 2015 is the last time ATV laws were updated for Ontario.

Drivers are required to carry permits and wear helmets while riding, but there is more that one can do to stay safe while out on their ATV. When out for a ride, drivers should go at speeds according to the conditions of the trail, road or weather; for instance, on roads that are 50km or less, ATV rider should be driving at speeds of 20km, and on roads where it’s 50 and over, ATVs should be driving at a speed of 50km/h. It is also recommended that ATV users ride with others, and to make sure that everyone knows where someone else in the group is going. It is better to ride during the day, and not in bad weather conditions. It is a good idea for beginning riders to take an ATV or ORV safety course. Experienced drivers should also take a safety course to brush up on their knowledge.

ATV driving can be enjoyable for all, but following the rules and regulations can help you to get the most out of your experience. Be courteous and responsible while riding an ATV.

Article prepared by Ariel Deutschmann.

All information found this article, and more about safety laws and tips, can be found in the following links:

Posted under ATV Accidents, Catastrophic Injury, Drunk Driving Accidents, Fractures, Personal Injury

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

The opinions expressed here, while intended to provide useful information, should not be interpreted as legal recommendations or advice.

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