How old must you be to ride an ATV in West Virginia?

The law does not specify a minimum age as a requirement for riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in West Virginia. However, there are laws in place to prevent minors from being involved in a West Virginia ATV accident.

ATV Restrictions on Minors

State law contains some restrictions for ATV riders under the age of 18. 

  • Any minor driving an all-terrain vehicle must be wearing an appropriate helmet at all times.
  • Any minor must complete a certified rider awareness safety course before being allowed to drive an ATV.
  • No minor is allowed to be a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle unless the ATV is specifically built for more than 1 rider. 


ATV Manufacturers' Recommendations for Minors

In addition to state laws, the manufacturers of all-terrain vehicles are required to post Minimum Age Recommendation Warning Labels on their ATVs. These labels are to ensure that no child mistakenly drives an ATV that is unsuitable for their age, because doing so can greatly increase the chances of a West Virginia ATV accident.

Here are the different Minimum Age Recommendation Warning Labels which can be found on ATVs: 

  • Under 6
  • Under 10
  • Under 12
  • Under 14
  • Under 16
  • Operator under 16 (for two-passenger vehicles) 


These warning labels are made up of the 5 parts listed below: 

  • A yellow WARNING band across the top of the label;
  • A circle with the words "Under (age)" inside it with a red diagonal line through the words;
  • The sentence, "Operation of this ATV by children under the age of (age) increases the risk of severe injury or death";
  • The sentence, "Adult supervision required for children under age 16"; and
  • The sentence, "NEVER permit children under age (age) to operate this ATV". 


Liability

If it can be shown that a parent or guardian knowingly allowed their child to operate an ATV that was not age-appropriate and that child causes an accident, the parent may be held legally liable (or even criminally responsible) for all injuries or property damage that result from the West Virginia ATV accident.

If you are the victim of the negligence or recklessness of an ATV operator, contact a qualified Clarksburg ATV accident lawyer to see about filing a West Virginia personal injury claim.

Recreation opportunities abound in West Virginia, but with ATV riding can lead to potentially serious or fatal accidents. If you have been harmed because of somebody else's negligence, don't hesitate to seek justice. The Miley Legal Group will work with you to fight for the compensation you deserve and help you to move on with your life. Contact us today for a FREE consultation - (304) 326-1800