Yes, riding a dirt bike is inherently dangerous, but there are safety measures that will help minimize the risks; and making the experience relatively safer; like wearing recommended protective gear.
Also, children younger than 3 years old or a bit older can start by riding small dirt bile that can safely ride on only 50cc gas.
Children between the ages of 5-8 years can ride on large dirt bikes under parental supervision. Remember, the child first needs to know how to ride a regular bike.
Are ATV’s safer?
Well, doing a ATV vs. dirt bikes for kids we discovered that ATV’s aren’t safer – forget the fact that they are on 4 wheels! That doesn’t make them any safer.
The weight of an ATV makes it not “that safe” for kids. An average 4-wheeler weighs around 600 pounds. Can you imagine that flipping over?
Yes, it will feel safer but it also will throw kids higher when they encounter bumps plus the higher speeds is a temptation for kids to want to go faster and end up harming themselves if they’re thrown off.
ALSO SEE: Best Dirt Bike Socks
Statistics on Dirt Bike Injuries
I carried out a deeper research and discovered the following shocking statistics:
- Alcohol leads to 50% of dirt bike related deaths.
- Age 16 population makes up 25%-30% of those killed by dirt bikes
- A 65% of riders who lost their life riding wear not using an helmet
- Over 30% of brain injuries happened during bike riding and occurred in areas surrounded by trees.
- 60% of bone fractures as a result of bike riding happened below the waist.
- Dirt bikes death increased by 30% between 2006-2012
- If you’re involved in a bike accident, there’s a 29% chance that the femur will break.
- ATV crashes are 50% more likely to be fatal than dirt bike crashes.
- ATVs are much more dangerous than dirt bikes
Based on these statistics, you would agree with me that more tan 50% of ATV crashes are usually more fatal than dirt bike crashes, and the fact still remains that riding on ATVs is getting much more dangerous each year.
Here are more reasons why dirt bikes are safer:
- ATVs weigh more than dirt bikes
An average dirt bike weighs about 200 pounds compared to ATVs which weight between 600-1,000 pounds. So, if an ATV falls on your kids, it can kill them.
- ATVs can crush at high speed
ATV crashes are typically more deadly than dirt bike crashes, especially on a steep mountain or even a big dune.
Crashes can make you and the ATV tumble, and that increases the death rate chance to be very high since it gains plenty of momentum and you risk being crushed by it.
- ATV Riders Do Not Wear Safety Gear
People who ride on ATV hardly put on much protective gear compared to dirt bike riders and that my friend makes ATV riding for kids much more dangerous than dirt bike riding.
In general dirt bike accidents are more common, but ATV accidents are much more deadly.
How to Stay Safe on Dirt Bikes
As parents, we owe it to our kids to keep them as protected as we can. Here is how:
Buy a Bike “FOR” your child
Buy a bike that meets the height and size need of the child! Avoid purchasing bikes that do not allow your child sit or drive comfortably.
It should be comfortable to ride even if your child slips on all his/her protective gear.
Keep an eye on his movements as he tests it out.
Read the owner’s manual
Have your child read the owner’s manual, but that’s not all, you too have a duty to read the manual. So, do well to read it with your child.
Trust me, it’s better this way.
Have a chat with Your child on the importance of safety
You need to take time to explain the importance of safety to your ward, BEFORE THEY JUMP ON A BIKE.
It is important stuff so explain it in a way they’d understand. You could use videos from Youtube to illustrate it.
Buying protective equipment is a must! As parents, you need to do this to keep your child safe. The average price point for a safety gear is $350 and I know it is very expensive, but good safety equipment helps save lives and prevent injuries.
Personally, I would recommend you buying some expensive protective equipment to make it the best of quality.
Avoid riding on Roads
Kids should not be allowed to ride on roads, no mater what.
It puts their life in higher danger and dirt bikes aren’t even mean’t for road rides.
Your kids should ride in sand parks or on riding tracks that are especially adapted to dirt bike racing.
Inspect the dirt bike before riding
It is really crucial to double check your kids bike before each ride. Look out for tear in the tires or in the wheels. Test out the brakes and handles.
All of these checks will help your kid have better control, and avoid a fatal accident.
Have a speed Limit set
It is crucial to have your kids ride at low speeds, especially for beginners. As a parent, your child should not ride on a high speed. If they do, a small bump could make them lose control and have an accident therefore, it is crucial to limit the speed at which your ward rides at.
NEVER ride in the rain
The ground can get tricky when it rains so do not allow them ride in the rain unless you will be guiding the bike ride.
Mud or rain waters can trigger the bike to go off balance and therefore cause injuries. Leave that type of riding to professionals.
Supervise your Children
Kids should not be allowed to ride bikes without an adult supervision.
So, take time out to supervise your kids, especially if they have just started to ride on a dirt bike. It is crucial to ensure that your child does not ride too quick.
You must learn how confident your child is riding a regular bike before you give them a dirt bike.
What Safety Equipment Do You Need To Keep Your Child Safe?
Helmets are an absolute protective gear for kids, teens, and adults.
In fact, no one should be riding without an helmet on, especially kids since it protects the head region.
Remember, 65% of dirt bike related deaths occurred when riders do not wear a helmet, and this is why a helmet is the most important aspect of your child’s gear-on!
Gloves allows for a better grip and protects your kids hands against pains and sores.
To eliminate the risks of bone fractures and bone related injuries, you need to get a body armor for your kid.
Dirt, sand, hot air etc. will get into your kids eye as they ride if they don’t have a google slipped on.
The lens you buy for your child should be high quality and resistant to these foreign particles so they don’t hurt your child’s eye and lead to an accident.
Many parents might think that sneakers are good enough – Well, that isn’t always the case.
High boots help protect your kid from elements, brushes, weeds, etc as they drive away.
Where Should I Take My Child To Ride Their Dirt Bike?
The question of – Where can I take my child to ride their dirt bike will be answered in this section.
You can take your kids to ride in parks. It is a perfect place to learn and improve bike skills for children between age 3-8.
It is crucial to ensure the park has a level ground with no cracks at all. You need to obtain special permission before you begin to ride in non-public parks.
Public trails or dirt bike trails are great for dirt bike riders. Feel free to take your ward there.
It is important to check to see if there are objects that could damage the wheels or potentially cause your child to have an accident.
Clubs and Riding Groups
There could be trainers in riding centers or dirt bike clubs that might be happy to teach your kid how to ride, and that my friend would be so cool! Imagine surprising your kids this weekend.
Take them to these places since they typically are the best place to ride because they have high quality facilities for your child to ride with their friends and coaches. It can be an amazing experience for your child if you join them up to clubs or driving groups.
How Our Family Chooses to Stay Safe While Dirt Bike Riding
Personally, I took the above statistics into account and have taken into measure more ways to protect my family and I while we enjoy our dirt riding adventures into the desert south of Boise.
- Our family only ride on dirt bikes instead of ATVs. According to statistical data, this makes us 50% less likely to die in an off-road accident.
- We don’t ride on dirt roads with many car travelers or paved roads. This significantly cuts out the chances of us colliding with cars, lorries, trucks, vans, etc.
- We don’t ride in parks with more than 3 feet jump-offs.
- We usually go for high quality safety gear.
- We choose dirt bikes for the kids that are properly sized for them, and don’t let them ride bikes that are too large or powerful.
How Dangerous Is Dirt Biking?
Statistics have shown that dirt biking is much safer than ATV riding.
ATV vs Dirt Bike Deaths
Accoridng to cpsc.gov, here are some deaths that occured from riding:
Are Dirt Bikes Safe For 11 Year Olds?
Yes, they are safe. Remember to use protective gear on your kids.
Are dirt Bikes Safer Than Motorcycles?
From experience, riding ATV is much safer than motorcycles. Beware!
Should I Let My Kid Ride A Dirt Bike?
With safety measure put in place, your kids can ride a dirt bike under an adults supervision.
What are the Dangers Of Riding A Dirt Bike?
Broken ribs, ankles, collarbone, shoulders, and neck with back.
What Age Can A Kid Ride A Dirt Bike?
Kids can begin riding dirt bikes from age 3.
Is a Dirt Bike Safe for A 12-Year-Old?
A dirt bike is safe for a 12-year old as long as you supervise them and make them slip their protective gear on. They shouldn’t overspeed too!
The best dirt bikes for 12-13 year olds will have an engine cc size somewhere between 65-125cc.
Can a 13 Year Old Ride A Dirtbike On The Road?
Children younger than age 13 should NEVER be allowed to ride dirtbike on the road, even with an adult supervision. The risk of a vehicle collision is just too high. I wouldn’t recommend it, even if the adult has a drivers license.
Can a 9-year-Old Ride A Dirt Bike?
Yes, they can. 2-strokes bikes are perfect for beginner 9 year old while a 4-stroke is best for more experienced riders.
Can a 10-Year-Old Ride A Dirt Bike?
Dirt biking for 10 year olds is perfectly fine. A 10 year old can ride a dirt bike with protective gear in place.
The recommended starter bikes for 10 year old kids are Honda CRF110F, the Yamaha TT-R110E, or the Kawasaki KLX110.
Riding a dirt bike is a very fun sport, but it can certainly be dangerous if you do not understand all the safety rules. I want to point out again that you can certainly decide differently.
However, it is important for every parent to understand the statistical risks and make their own decisions and should be held accountable for it.
For us, however, we have put up safety measures that DRAMATICALLY reduce our risk of being seriously injured while riding.