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ATV Safety - A Few Simple Rules


It's not uncommon for a farmer or rancher to own an ATV, or All Terrain Vehicle. They are handy farm tools when you need to get out to your field or haul small loads like feed or equipment.

ATVs also serve a recreational purpose, and that's typically where problems can occur. Following a few simple rules when it comes to ATVs, however, can help lower the risk of an accident happening to an employee or a family member.

Young rider safety

Unfortunately, kids are more likely than adults to injure themselves on an ATV. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, four out of every 10 people treated each year in emergency rooms for ATV injuries are under age 16.

Before letting a young person operate an ATV, make sure his or her physical size, coordination, balance, ability to judge distances, willingness to follow rules and peripheral vision are adequate to the task.

The Golden Rules

According to the ATV Safety Institute, all family members and employees should follow these guidelines when operating an ATV, whether for work or for play.

  1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, such as long pants, boots and gloves.
  2. Never ride on public roads.
  3. Never operate or ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle.
  5. Always ride an ATV that's right for your size and age. Follow the engine size guidelines according to age, which are as follows:
    • Age 6 and older: Under 70cc engine
    • Age 12 and older: 70cc to 90cc engine
    • Age 16 and older: Over 90cc engine
  6. Always supervise riders younger than 16 years of age.
  7. Ride only at safe speeds on designated trails.
  8. Take a hands-on safety-training course.

Insurance matters

If you plan on taking an ATV that is insured under your farm policy off your premises to ride for fun, you should let your agent know. Liability insurance for off-premises recreational use of an ATV is not covered by most farm policies. Endorsements can be made to adjust the policy. Make sure you are covered in the event of an accident.

ATVs are both useful and fun. Knowing the rules about their proper use will help you stay safe and keep riding.

Special Member Savings

At Southern States®, we are proud to be one of the nation's largest farmer-owned cooperatives. Southern States has partnered with Nationwide® Agribusiness Insurance to offer Southern States Cooperative member-producers in North Carolina and Virginia special discounts on insurance. In addition to giving you exclusive insurance savings, we're also joining forces to support the cooperative that means so much to you.

Nationwide® Agribusiness is the number 1 insurer of farms in the U.S. and a leading insurer of commercial agribusiness. Go to southernstatesnwag.com to find a local agent.


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