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Kick Off the Summer with Safety When Riding ATVs and Other Off-Highway Vehicles; Gear Up and Stay Off Paved Roads

Release Date: May 25, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Memorial Day weekend is the traditional kick-off for summer. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers that safe riding is essential when enjoying outdoor trail time on their ATVs and other off-highway vehicles (OHVs) this summer. The dangers of riding OHVs are real and include overturning, collisions and occupant ejection. CPSC’s latest data show an annual average of more than 700 deaths and an estimated 100,000 emergency department-treated injuries involving OHVs.   

“Keeping children safe is especially important. These vehicles are not toys and should be used only as directed,” said CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. “For their own safety, it is critical that riders younger than 16 drive only age-appropriate youth models, and never adult models. And they all should always drive safely and wear protective equipment.” 

According to CPSC’s latest report, from 2016 through 2018, there were 2,211 deaths in the United States  associated with OHVs, which includes all-terrain vehicles, recreational off-highway vehicles and utility-terrain vehicles. ATVs accounted for nearly three-quarters of the deaths. Nearly 300 deaths were among children under the age of 16. 

CPSC estimates that 112,300 injuries, associated with OHVs, were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2020. Over five years, ATVs were the vehicle involved in 96 percent of the OHV injuries. 

These 10 states accounted for 931 deaths, or more than 42 percent of the off-highway vehicle deaths from 2016 through 2018: 

  1. Texas (139) 

  1. West Virginia (114) 

  1. Pennsylvania (112) 

  1. Kentucky (104) 

  1. California (101) 

  1. Florida (79) 

  1. North Carolina (78) 

  1. New York (73) 

  1. Alabama (68) 

  1. Michigan (63)  

Ride safely with a few tips: 

  • Get hands-on training from a qualified instructor, e.g., in an ATV Safety Institute (ASI) course. 

  • Never ride with more passengers than there are seats. Most ATVs are designed for one rider. 

  • Never ride on public roads, except to cross, where permitted by law. 

  • Avoid drinking alcohol before or while driving an ATV, because alcohol can impair judgment and response time. 

  • Stay off paved roads. 

  • Riders younger than 16 should drive only age-appropriate youth models, and never adult models. 

  • Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. 

CPSC published new comprehensive business guidance for ATVs. This guidance provides the business community clarity on mandatory and voluntary standards for ATVs and other OHVs, aiming to prevent unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with ATVs. 


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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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