ST. PAUL—As of Sept. 3, 19 people in Minnesota have died in OHV (off-highway vehicle) accidents this year. By comparison, the average number of fatalities annually for the past decade is 18.
The number of registered OHVs—which includes all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles and off-road vehicles—continues to rise in Minnesota. The total in 2019 was 329,275. ATVs are the most popular type, and so far, this year there are nearly 24,000 new registrations.
As they work to keep the trails safe, conservation officers across the state report increased numbers of interactions with OHV riders. Among the most common issues they’re encountering are people riding too fast, riding where they’re not supposed to ride, and failing to obey traffic signs. In addition, there’s been a concerning trend of riders under the age of 18 not wearing helmets.
OHV riders should keep the following in mind before hitting the trail:
- Ride only on designated trails. Stay to the right and travel at a safe speed.
- Ride sober.
- Wear protective gear including goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, gloves and a DOT-approved helmet.
- Avoid riding on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law.
- Kids need active supervision—OHVs aren’t toys.
- Complete a safety course.
For more information about riding safely, see: mndnr.gov/ohv/atv-safety.html.