The popularity of all-terrain vehicle use in Minnesota has risen in the past several years. Unfortunately, this increase in popularity coincides with increased injuries and deaths.
Since 2020, 67 people have died in ATV crashes in Minnesota, including 12 children.
Reasons for the increase in deaths
Authorities say the number of unsupervised and unhelmeted young ATV riders is on the rise. Many of these riders operate vehicles that are too large and too fast for children to control.
Minnesota ATV law
Minnesota law places restrictions on the size of ATV that children under the age of 16 can operate. It also restricts where they can ride. Anyone under the age of 15 is not legally allowed to drive a Class 2 ATV. Riders under age 10 can only ride on private property with permission from the owner.
Older riders have more freedom but must still meet requirements to ride in certain areas, such as obtaining an ATV Safety Certificate. Riders over the age of 16 need a valid driver’s license to cross public roadways and all riders must meet specific requirements, such as being able to reach the controls properly, to operate various types of ATVs.
Additionally, riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet when riding on public lands, road rights-of-way and frozen waters and a seat belt if the ATV they are riding has one. However, law enforcement officials say they frequently encounter young riders ignoring the law.
Riders who do not follow ATV safety laws put themselves at risk and may open themselves and their parents up to lawsuits when they injure others.