WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Memorial Day weekend approaches and the ATV riding season begins, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is launching a new public service announcement, urging riders to keep all ATVs – OFF paved public roads. Every year, there are about 650 deaths and 100,000 injuries involving ATVs, according to CPSC’s Annual Report.
“Even if your county or town law permits ATVs to be driven on paved public roads, we urge you to take caution and keep your ATVs off these roads,” says Ann Marie Buerkle, CPSC Acting Chairman. “Off-road vehicles are not designed to be driven on paved surfaces, and collisions with cars and other on-road vehicles can be deadly for ATV operators.”
Nearly one-third (32%) of reported deaths, or at least 770 deaths (during a four-year period from 2010 to 2013*), were related to incidents involving ATVs being ridden on paved roads or parking lots. It’s important for every rider at every age to know:
- Off-road vehicles are designed to be driven only on off-road terrain, not paved surfaces.
- Off-road vehicles are difficult to control on paved surfaces and are at-risk of overturning.
- On paved roads, off-road vehicles are at a higher risk of colliding with cars, trucks and other vehicles.
- In many states, it is illegal to ride off-road vehicles on paved roads.
More than 2,400 deaths related to ATVs were reported for the four-year period from 2010 to 2013,* for all surface types, including paved surfaces. An estimated 430,000 ATV-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms during this same period.
In addition to knowing the dangers of riding on paved surfaces, all riders should always follow the safety tips below when operating an off-road vehicle:
- 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.
- Get hands-on training from a qualified instructor.
- Riders younger than 16 should only drive age-appropriate youth model ATVs, never adult ATVs.
For more information, including deaths by state, visit www.ATVsafety.gov.
*Reporting for 2014-2017 is ongoing.