In 2019, more deaths were caused by ROVs than in any other year.

In 2019, more deaths were caused by ROVs than in any other year.

Image courtesy of Consumer Federation of America

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has released its most up-to-date Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) recall analysis, which looks at a decade of data. OHVs include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs), and utility task vehicles (UTVs). From Jan. 1, 2010 through Feb. 3, 2020, there were 110 OHV recalls involving 19 different brands.

For every recall issued, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates the number of impacted vehicles, the reason for the recall, and the number of deaths and injuries if any.

Of the 110 recalls analyzed, the CPSC estimates that 1,474,093 vehicles were sold to consumers and subsequently recalled.

Of the 110 recalls, fire-related hazards accounted for the most recalls (50 recalls, or 45%). Throttle and brake hazards came in second and third, with 15 and 11 recalls respectively. Together, these top three hazards represent nearly three-quarters of hazards that led to recalls (69%).

Injuries and deaths were involved in nearly a quarter of the OHV recalls. Out of the 110 analyzed, 24 recalls involved at least one injury. Tragically, the most serious involved two deaths: one in 2017, in which the OHV rolled over and did not have seatbelts, and another in 2016, in which an OHV caught fire and rolled over.

CFA also analyzed the brands of the recalled vehicles. Polaris had the most recalls of the 110 that were analyzed, with 40 recalls. Kawasaki and BRP/Can-Am had the second and third highest number of recalls, 12 and 9 respectively.

Fatality Numbers by Year and OHV Type

By tracking news reports and analyzing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, CFA’s OHV Safety Coalition documents OHV deaths. Between Jan. 1, 2013 and Feb. 3, 2020, CFA and its partners have documented over 4,100 deaths involving OHVs (4,102 total).

CFA’s OHV Safety Coalition’s analysis of OHV deaths includes detailed breakdowns of fatalities, tracking data such as vehicle type, fatality location, age of the deceased, gender of the deceased, and whether the fatality occurred on- or off-road.

In 2019, CFA identified 484 OHV fatalities. Of these, 312 involved an ATV, 155 involved an ROV, 15 involved UTVs, and two fatalities did not specify vehicle type. CFA is still collecting data for 2019, so these numbers may continue to rise once additional government data is released. Compared to data from 2016-2108, more deaths in 2019 were caused by ROVs than any other year.

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