More ATVs appearing on public roads: report

Washington – More states are allowing all-terrain vehicles on public roads despite warnings from safety organizations and manufacturers, according to a new report from the Consumer Federation of America.

ATVs on Roadways: A Safety Crisis cites data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission showing 492 of the 758 ATV-related deaths in 2007 occurred on public roads, and the incidence of on-road fatalities has been increasing. Thirty-five states permit ATVs to be on the road in certain conditions, the report states.

In explaining why ATVs are dangerous on the road, the report points to the vehicles’ design – a high center of gravity and narrow wheel base that makes them prone to tip over during a turn, and tires that are designed for off-road use.

Recommendations in the report include for states to prohibit ATV use on all roadways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to address ATV safety and CPSC to educate people about the dangers of operating ATVs on roads.