ATVs, Off-Road Vehicles Linked to More than 900 Deaths When Driven on Paved Surfaces, CPSC Warns

As the extended Labor Day Weekend approaches, government safety officials are warning about the serious accident risks associated with use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and recreational off-road vehicles (ROVs) on paved roads or parking lots, indicating that the off-road vehicles should be kept off of roadways.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a statement on September 1, indicating that 900 ATV deaths were suffered over a four year period due to the use of the vehicles on paved surfaces, accounting for roughly one-third of all deaths associated with the vehicles.

Many of the incidents were the result of colliding with on-highway approved vehicles, which may be traveling at much greater speeds, or due severe injuries caused by instability and difficulty controlling the off-road vehicles on paved surfaces.

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ATVs and ROVs are designed to be driven only on off-road terrains, and not paved surfaces. Often, ATV’s and ROV’s are unstable and difficult to control when driven on paved surfaces due to wheel and shock designs meant to absorb rougher terrains. These vehicles regularly pose a tip-over hazard when making turns at increased speeds.

In many states in the U.S. riding off-road vehicles including ATV’s ROV’s side-by-sides, dirt bikes, and other utility vehicles on paved roads is illegal due to the increased crash and injury risks.

The CPSC released a set of safety instructions in the recent warning, urging riders of off-highway vehicles to always wear proper protective gear when operating the vehicles ,including eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. In addition, riders are being cautioned to never drive the vehicles on paved roads, to never load the vehicles with more passengers than seats available and to always have occupants seat belted to prevent ejections hazards.

Safety officials warn that operators should always receive hands-on training from a qualified instructor on how to drive the vehicles and children or riders younger than 16 years of age should only operate age-appropriate youth models.

Consumers are encouraged to always be aware of recalls pertaining to their off-road vehicles as often times the vehicles are subject to CPSC recalls due to faulty parts or design defects that can result in fires, tip-over hazards, steering loss and other circumstances that can cause serious injuries and even death to drivers and occupants.

Already this month, Polaris and KTM North America have recalled off-road vehicles due to problems with loss of steering defects and fires stemming from the engine overheating.

On September 1, Polaris recalled 15,230 model year 2016 Polaris RZR XP Turbo and RZR XP 4 Turbo recreational off-highway vehicles, due to consumer reports that that vehicles’ engine overheated causing the turbo system’s drain tube to loosen. To date, the manufacturer has received 19 reports of the ROVs catching on fire, resulting in six burn injuries. The CPSC reported one of the fire and burn injuries occurred in Utah’s American Fork Canyon, resulting in the young child suffering severe burns and causing a forest fire that destroyed 15 acres of land. For further recall information consumers may visit

KTM North America’s recent recall was also announced on September 1, which included roughly 920 model year 2016 KTM brand and Husqvarna Motorcycles brand motocross off-road motorcycles with 250cc, 4-cycle engines. The recall was initiated after the manufacturer received five reports of the connector rods in the crankshaft assembly fracturing, causing operators to lose control of the motorcycles and crash. For further recall information please visit


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