(WCBD) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges riders to keep all off-road vehicles – off of roads. This includes all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs), side-by-sides, dirt bikes, and other utility vehicles.
According to the CPSC report, at least 900 deaths during a four-year period were related to ATVs being ridden on paved roads or parking lots.
Here are some findings officials say every rider at every age should 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 being in a collision with cars, trucks and other vehicles.
- In many states, it is illegal to ride off-road vehicles on paved roads.
Including the 900 ATV-related deaths on paved surfaces, there were nearly 3,000 deaths and 490,000 injuries related to ATVs and ROVs reported during the four-year period.
Important safety tips for operating an off-road vehicle:
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and long-sleeved shirt.
- Never have more passengers than there are seats. Most ATVs are designed for one rider, and ROVs should never have more passengers than there are seat belts.
- Never operate an off-road vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Get hands-on training from a qualified instructor.
- Fasten seat belts and keep all parts of your body inside an ROV.
- Children should not be passengers in a ROV unless their feet can reach the floor in a sitting position.
- Riders younger than 16 should only drive age-appropriate youth model ATVs, never adult ATVs or ROVs.
For more children-specific safety tips related to off-road vehicles, please read an additional blog post from CPSC.