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Gear Up, Limit Riders and Keep ATVs and ROVs Off Roads

Release Date: June 02, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As consumers around the country welcome the warm-weather recreation season, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to understand the risks and undertake necessary safety measures before riding ATVs and other off-highway vehicles.  The dangers are real, and include overturning, collision, and occupant ejection.

CPSC’s latest report includes off-highway vehicle (OHV)-related estimated injury statistics during the period 2015 through 2019, and deaths from 2015 through 2017.  OHVs are comprised of recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), in addition to ATVs.

ATVs accounted for approximately 97 percent of total off-highway vehicle (OHV)-related emergency department-treated injuries.  There were about 1,700 ATV-related fatalities and 445 ROV-related fatalities reported during this period.

Children Are at High Risk

ATVs and ROVs become more dangerous when children drive adult-sized vehicles, or when more than one passenger rides on vehicles built for a single rider.  Children under 16 accounted for the third-highest percentage of OHV deaths by age group; almost 50 percent of this group were children under 12.

State with the Most Deaths

During the 2015 through 2017 period, Texas had the highest number of deaths from ATVs, ROVs or OHVs, with 161 fatalities.                                                      

Never Ride ATVs and ROVs on Paved Roads

It is extremely dangerous to use ATVs and ROVs on paved roads intended for vehicles; they are simply not designed for that purpose.  Because ATVs and ROVs can be unwieldy on paved surfaces, the risk of collision with a car, truck, or other vehicle is significantly higher.  The risk of tip-over is also dramatically increased.  Even if a locality allows ATVs and RTVs on paved roads, CPSC strongly recommends not using them on paved surfaces.


CPSC Safety Tips

Consumers who are riding an ATV or ROV should follow these key safety tips:

  • Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Never ride with more passengers than there are seats.  Most ATVs are designed for one rider.
  • Riders younger than 16 should only drive age-appropriate youth model ATVs, and never operate adult ATVs.
  • Off-road vehicles are designed to be driven only on off-road terrain, not paved surfaces.
  • Never ride on public roads, except to cross, where permitted by law.
  • Get hands-on training from a qualified instructor.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before or while driving an ATV or ROV.  Alcohol can impair judgment and response time.

For more information, contact Brian Walch in CPSC’s Office of Communications at 301-943-1146 or by email at

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About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.

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