As the July 4th holiday arrives, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has issued an alert to off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders to operate their vehicles with caution.
According to data gathered by CFA and its OHV Safety Coalition, July is the most dangerous month for OHV riders. From 2013 through 2017, July has been the month with the most OHV fatalities, and the day with the highest number of fatalities is July 4.
August and May follow as the second and third most dangerous months for OHV riders.
OHVs include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs), and utility task vehicles (UTVs).
CFA and its OHV Safety Coalition have been documenting OHV deaths since 2013 using media reports and government data. From 2013 through 2017, the group documented more than 400 deaths in July. For the entire time period, CFA has documented more than 3,000 deaths.
Of the 417 fatalities that occurred in July, 273 (65 percent) occurred on-road, 127 (30 percent) occurred off-road, and 22 (4 percent) occurred in an unknown location.
“Since July 4 has been the most dangerous day of the year for OHV riders for the past five years, we urge all riders to prioritize safety so that this statistic will not be a reality again in 2018,” stated Rachel Weintraub, CFA legislative director and general counsel. “OHV riders must have the necessary skills to operate an OHV, should use appropriate safety equipment such as helmets, should never operate on roads, and should never carry passengers.”
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s most recent ATV fatality and injury report, there were 337 ATV fatalities in 2016.
CFA has petitioned the CPSC to ban adult-size ATVs for children.