As Memorial Day Approaches, ATV Riders Face Risks CFA Warns of Safety Dangers and Releases a New Web Resource

Washington, DC (May 22, 2014) –Tragically, there are numerous all-terrain vehicle (ATV) deaths and injuries during the Memorial Day holiday.  According to the most recent data from CPSC, during the Memorial Day weekend in 2013, there were at least 14 deaths and an estimated 2,850 injuries serious enough to require emergency room treatment associated with ATV usage. Four of the 14 fatalities during that weekend involved children younger than 16.  Reports for the four Memorial Day holiday weekends before 2013, from 2009 to 2012, show a total of more than 73 ATV-related fatalities.[1]

Already, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has documented at least 103 deaths in 2014 as a result of ATV and recreational off-highway vehicle (ROHV) riding.[2] In addition, CPSC’s most recent data on ATV deaths and injuries found that 107,900 people in 2012 were injured seriously enough to require emergency room treatment and that at least 684 people died in 2011 as a result of ATV usage.  Despite these tragic numbers, both CPSC’s and CFA’s death data are incomplete and will increase significantly as reports are finalized.

“Tragically, historical data shows that ATV related deaths and injuries over Memorial Day weekend are substantial,” said Rachel Weintraub, Legislative Director and Senior Counsel of Consumer Federation of America.  “We urge ATV operators and riders to be cautious this holiday weekend to avoid deaths and injuries.”

Four Critical Steps to Reducing ATV Deaths and Injuries this Memorial Day Weekend

  • Never operate an ATV on a road.
  • Never permit children younger than 16 years old to operate an adult-size ATV or any ATV that is too large and too powerful for them.
  • Always wear a helmet and other protective gear when riding an ATV.
  • Never allow more people on an ATV than it was designed to carry.

In a report released last March, CFA documented a growing public health crisis on America’s roadways.  Each year, an increasing number of states and localities are passing state laws and local ordinances allowing ATVs to legally operate on public roads.  Further, a majority of ATV deaths occur on roads.  In the report, “ATVs on Roadways: A Safety Crisis,” CFA evaluated laws from all fifty states and the District of Columbia and found that for several years an increasing number of states have passed laws allowing ATVs on public roads, in spite of warnings from manufacturers, federal agencies, and consumer and safety advocates that ATVs are unsafe on roadways,.

New CFA Web Resource Designed to Provide Key Information to ATV Riders, the Public and Policy Makers

In order to provide consumers and the nation’s policy makers with key ATV safety resources, Consumer Federation of America is launching a new web resource, available at www.consumerfed.org/ATVunsafeonroads. This new resource includes the latest research on ATVs on roads and ATV death and injury data; lists members of a new coalition formed to address this public health crisis; and includes advocacy efforts undertaken by this coalition.

“ATV riders and those who make decisions about ATV access need to be informed about the hazards posed by operating ATVs on roads,” stated Michael Best, Policy Advocate at Consumer Federation of America.  “Never before has this been more important in light of the growing trend among states to allow ATVs on roads.”

Contact: Rachel Weintraub, (202) 387-6121; Michael Best, (202) 387-6121


The Consumer Federation of America is an association of nearly 300 nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. www.consumerfed.org


[1] CPSC Blogger, OnSafety, Ride Smart to Avoid Tragedy, 5/22/14. http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/05/ride-smart-to-avoid-tragedy/

[2] By tracking news reports, CFA and coalition members have been compiling ATV fatalities.  As of May 21, we identified 102 ATV fatalities in 2014.  Because not all ATV and ROV related deaths are reported in newspaper and not all newspapers are online, this count is an underestimate.  In addition, because newspapers frequently identify all off-road vehicles as ATVS, some ROVs may be classified as ATVs in the data.  Here is a link to the ATV death data in 2014: http://consumerfed.org/2014%20ATV%20Deaths%20FINAL.pdf