About the author

Paul Feldman is a FairWarning staff writer.

6 comments to “Despite Hazards, Drive to Open Public Roads to Off-Road Vehicles in High Gear”

  1. Tenna B

    My 19 year old son and his girlfriend were driving home one day from the store on a typical Sunday Afternoon. My son noticed 2 UTV’s in the distance side by side, then the next thing he knows is one of the UTV’s is headed right towards him, he veered off the road was pretty much in the dirt; when the UTV crossed 2 lanes and hit him head on. That was a day that my son will have to live with for the rest of his life, he will never forget the images of the 2 passenger’s in the the UTV being thrown from the vehicle. The driver being crushed against his truck while the the passenger flew over his truck and landed behind it. Mean while my son could not move for he was trapped in his truck. The claim was rear wheel locked up, saddest thing is according the report was indicated to have happened while out romping in the dessert. Human error caused this tragic accident to happen for if this was know why on earth were they even on the road in the first place driving their UTV, when they knew it wasn’t working properly. Why didn’t they get towed by the other UTV? Sadly, this is a question we will never know the answer to! The only thing I know, is that my son will have to live with this nightmare for the rest of his life and the fact that he has a rod in his leg and a limp now that he will have for the rest of his life; is a constant reminder of that day Sunday afternoon when he was just driving home from the store, when his 19 year old life changed forever.

  2. Matthew John

    They have been legal in Montana for 20 years on the roads without issue. People actually run street tires on them there and ride them to work. The last 4 wheeler i sold there before i moved had over 18,000 miles on it. I feel safer on an ATV at highway speeds than a motorcycle…….

  3. Rob noble

    I’ll fight for my rights on an atv on roads. Just like my gun rights. LEAVE ME THE ….. ALONE!

  4. Myron Levin

    This comment is from Raphael Grzebieta:

    Oh really Matt!
    And my reply to you is that you don’t go to the emergency trauma wards like Prof. Denning and her colleague Prof. Jennissen are required to do as they try to patch back together the heads, chests, necks, spines, other bones fractured and open wounds caused by an ATV that has rolled over or ejected the rider on a road. They, the US CPSC and the CFA are sick and tired of seeing senseless deaths and serious injuries occurring on roads because manufacturers and dealers just want to sell more ATVs to folks like you, who reject that safety is an essential component of any mobility transport vehicle. Rushing head on into approving opening roads for ATVs is really a dumb thing to do, financially speaking. The Governors of Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin should think twice about this ‘courageous decision’ (https://goo.gl/252EGR), that is going to choke up the hospitals with ATV trauma victims. If you want to travel on a road then use a vehicle that has been designed to be driven on a road, i.e., a car, an SUV, a Pickup or even a motorbike. At least our Politicians in Australia and NZ aren’t so reckless as those in some of your states. ATVs cannot be driven on roads in either Australia or New Zealand and for good reason.

    We call ATVs ‘quad bikes’ in Australia and New Zealand because they can’t travel over ‘All Terrains’. By the way, this is another con by manufacturers and dealers to sell more such vehicles to unsuspecting customers.

    Our most recent study shows that quad bikes (ATVs) are particularly dangerous on hard surfaces such as roads.
    On page 39 and 40 of our report (https://goo.gl/yxZkty) shows that: (1) you are more than 3 times more likely to be injured and more than 4 times likely to be seriously injured when riding on a sealed road than riding on grassland; and (2) you are almost 4 times more likely to be injured and around 2.5 times more likely to be seriously injured when riding at a speed above 22 mph (36 km/h). When combining the two together the risk is high and it is why folks like Rachel Weintraub from CFA and the US CPSC are jumping up and down about it!

    Our research work for quad bikes (ATVs) is available here: http://www.quadbike.unsw.edu.au/ and http://www.tars.unsw.edu.au/research/Current/Quad-Bike_Safety/Performance_Project.html.
    You should read it!

    By the way, what research or contribution to society have you done in this ‘quad bike’ space Matt besides emailing criticisms from your armchair and possibly riding one?

  5. Gerene Denning

    Thank you so much for shining a light on this growing public health and safety concern. I think of it as an invisible epidemic in plain site. The lack of a safety culture around this vehicle continues to take a heavy human and economic toll.

    So many misconceptions surround ATVs and ROVs. One of the biggest is that opening streets and roads to all adult riders will have a positive economic impact that outweighs safety concerns. Evidence supports an economic benefit from dedicated riding trails and parks and from organized riding events. On the other hand, predominately negative impacts (deaths, injuries, noise, trespassing, public property damage) have been shown to result from legalizing general recreational riding on city streets and county roads.

    We get alerts for newspaper articles related to ATVs and ROVs. More and more, the negative effects of these ordinances are being reported and some localities are starting to talk about restricting access again. It is unfortunate communities need to suffer these problems to verify their prediction, but perhaps others will learn from them.

    Finally, ROVs are becoming very concerning! Not only are the majority of fatal crashes happening on the road, the majority of non-fatal crashes are on the road more often than not. Also, report after report show that ROV crashes result in multiple dead or injured, something that may overwhelm the benefits of their greater stability and protective structures (ROPS & seat belts).

    We dream of a day when the industry embraces rather than fights safety and one where safety policies and laws for ATVs and ROVs are as common as those for automobiles. Until then, we appreciate your support and respect for the life and health of these vehicle users.

  6. Matt Anderson

    Paul Feldman Has never ridden and motorcycle, ATV or UTV. This is the ultimate nanny state type of person that is leading the country into the great safety bubble that eventually lead to needing stuffed animal pacifiers for adult age children in colleges.
    No thanks.

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