It is highly recommended that both the driver and the passenger of an all terrain vehicle - ATV - wear a crash helmet. The legal requirement to wear a crash helmet applies to the drivers and passengers of street four-wheelers and moped four-wheelers.

The outfit worn while driving an ATV is another important safety factor. An appropriate riding outfit reduces injuries from accidents while also offering protection from cold weather, wind and humidity. Wearing a colourful riding outfit also makes an ATV driver and passenger stand out when riding on roads also used by other vehicles.

Accidents

The most typical ATV accidents leading to fatalities involve falling or swerving off the road. Swerving off the road is often preceded by the ATV weaving side to side, which results in the driver losing control of the vehicle. The most typical accident during off-road riding is falling.

The majority of ATV drivers suffering fatal injuries in accidents are under the influence of alcohol at the time. In most cases, their blood alcohol content is 0.12% or higher.

Fatal injuries generally result from an impact to the head or chest. Other physical injuries tend to involve the shoulders or upper extremities, neck, spine and pelvis.

Risks

  • An ATV’s propensity to fall over
  • Tyre pressure is too low, or the tyres used are not suited to on-road use.
  • Excessive speed in relation to the situation and circumstances.
  • The driver is under the influence of alcohol.
  • The driver is not wearing a crash helmet.
  • The driver neglects traffic rules.
  • The driver is inexperienced.

Types of ATVs

All-terrain vehicles are divided into two categories depending on their purpose: off-road four-wheelers and street four-wheelers. As the name implies, an off-road four-wheeler is meant to be used in off-road terrain only. Temporary driving on roads is allowed only for the purpose of crossing a road or bridge, or in other exceptional cases. Riding an off-road four-wheeler on the road is subject to the driver having at least a B-class licence.