Taking a four wheeler out for a spin is a recreational activity that many riding enthusiasts participate in all year long. Yet, riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) continues to be a dangerous and deadly activity when certain safety precautions are not followed. Deaths and injuries resulting from ATV incidents have ticked down in recent years, although the stats are still deeply concerning to CPSC. There are about 650 deaths and 100,000 injuries every year involving ATVs, according to our 2015 ATV Annual Report.
As of December 31, 2015, CPSC staff received reports of 14,129 ATV-related fatalities occurring between 1982 and 2015, with 340 ATV-related fatalities occurring in 2015, 547 occurring in 2014, and 581 occurring in 2013. Reporting for the years 2013 through 2015 is ongoing and these numbers are expected to increase in future reports.
Taking a closer look at where ATV-related deaths take place, five states combined account for 3,208 deaths or 25 percent of all reported ATV-related deaths in the United States for the years 1982 through 2012.*
The following states had the highest numbers of reported ATV-related deaths occurring in this period:
- West Virginia641
Add the next seven states with the highest numbers of reported ATV-related deaths, and these 12 states account for nearly half of all reported ATV-related deaths in the United States.
- New York433
- North Carolina428
CPSC urges riders to always follow these ATV safety tips.
- Never drive ATVs on roads.
- Do not allow a child younger than 16 to operate or ride as a passenger on an adult ATV.
- Do not drive ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger, if it is a single-rider model.
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Get hands-on training from a qualified instructor. Visit ATVsafety.org to find a class near you.
*Table 2 (on page 9) of the 2015 ATV Annual Report gives the numbers of reported ATV-related deaths for each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. States are listed in descending order of the number of ATV-related fatalities reported for the years 1982 through 2012 (i.e., the years for which data collection is considered complete).