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Skip Navigation LinksDCNR > Recreation > What to Do > ATV Riding > Safety, Training, and Reporting Accidents

Safety, Training, and Reporting Accidents

ATV riding can be a risky sport. Before you ride, learn how to properly use all the mechanical controls and safety devices of your vehicle by reading your owner's manual. Most importantly, take a safety course before riding. Riders 16 years of age or older are encouraged to visit the ATV Safety Training online course.
 

Safety Training Requirement for Youth Riders

No one under 8 years of age is allowed to operate an ATV on any state-owned property. ATV riders ages 8 to 15 must complete a prescribed ATV safety training course and receive an ATV training certificate to ride on lands other than their parents’ or guardian’s property. 

Safety training classes are given by trained volunteer instructors. All youth ages 8 to 15 who complete the course will receive a safety course certificate. For information about a safety instructor near you see the list of youth ATV safety instructors by county or contact DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry at 717-783-7941.

ATV Riding Safety Tips

Keep your ride safe and fun by following these safety tips:
 
  • Wear a helmet and eye protection at all times and other protective clothing suitable to the environment. It is illegal to operate an ATV without a securely fastened helmet on the head of the operator.
  • Do not carry passengers on your ATV.
  • Do not let young or inexperienced riders operate ATVs without training and supervision.
  • Do not use alcohol or other drugs when you ride.
  • Learn proper riding skills from an instructor or qualified rider and practice such skills before riding.
  • Always maintain a safe distance between riders. Tailgating can lead to collisions and injuries.
  • Ride with others and let someone know where you are riding. Never ride alone.
  • Obey the laws.
  • Stay on trails designated for ATVs.
  • Be informed of local weather conditions and dress and equip yourself appropriately.Know the area you are riding in. Be aware of its potential hazards.
  • Always ride at a safe and responsible speed. Know your abilities and don't exceed those levels.
  • Make sure your equipment is in top working order; check before heading out.
  • Carry a map of the trail or area you intend to travel.
  • Use common sense.

Reporting ATV Accidents

If you are involved in an accident that results in the injury or death of any person, or property damages to the estimated amount of $100 or more, you must report the matter using the Snowmobile/ATV Accident Report Form (PDF) within seven days to the:

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Bureau of Forestry
P.O. Box 8552
Harrisburg, PA 17105

It is a violation of the Snowmobile/ATV Law not to report an accident.

If involved in an accident, you must stop and give your name and address, the name and address of the owner of the vehicle and its registration number to the other person(s) involved in the accident or to a police officer.

Accident forms also are available upon request from the:

  • Snowmobile/ATV Section
  • Bureau of Forestry
  • Bureau of State Parks
  • State police stations