Consumer Group Urges Caution in Use of Off-Highway Vehicles

Advocate Andy

Summertime is popular for use of OHVs, vehicles pose safety risks to kids

As the summer surge in use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) continues, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is issuing a warning about the risks posed by these vehicles.

In 2022 so far, CFA has documented 172 OHV fatalities. Children under the age of 16 account for the most fatalities, making up approximately 21.5 percent of all OHV deaths so far in 2022. In 2021, children under 16 also accounted for the highest amount of tracked OHV fatalities at 18.7 percent, and in 2020 children under 16 were the second highest amount of tracked OHV fatalities at 15.8%. Since 2019, children under the age of 16 have ranked in the top three age categories of OHV fatalities. Last year children under 16 accounted for the age group with the highest number of OHV fatalities, a statistic that has not been evident in CFA’s data since 2015. For the past five years, children aged five and under have accounted for an increasing number of fatalities, growing from five in 2018 to seven in 2021. CFA has tracked eight fatalities aged five and under in the 2022 data so far.

In a statement, the group warned about the risk to children from using vehicles such as ATVs, ROVs, and UTVs.

“Children under 16 continue to suffer the largest percentage of OHV fatalities,” stated Rachel Weintraub, Legislative Director and General Counsel with CFA. “As summer begins, we hope that OHV incidents will not remain as high and urge caution to OHV riders.”

While the vehicles can be fun and safe if used properly, they do pose serious risks. Bottom line, CFA is urging people to use caution when operating any type of OHV.

“All OHVs, even youth models, pose risks,” said Dr. Gary Smith, President of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance. “OHVs are fast, complex machines, and due to their design, they roll over easily. One wrong choice could lead to the emergency department or worse. Children younger than 16 years just aren’t ready for the demands of safe riding, so we encourage parents to find a different activity for their child.”

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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