MADISON, Wis. -- Ahead of the Labor Day weekend, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds operators of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) to use their safety equipment and smart operating skills as trails and routes are expected to be busy over the holiday weekend.
So far this year, 11 people have died in ATV/UTV crashes. Several crash victims were not wearing helmets or seat belts at the time of the crash.
When riding ATVs and UTVs, wearing a helmet and seat belt, monitoring speed and using caution on hills and uneven terrain could save your life.
“Safety is a critical piece of enjoying recreational vehicles,” said Lt. Martin Stone, DNR Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator. “Make the smart choice and make sure you and your passengers are wearing the proper safety equipment when out riding this weekend.”
Here are more tips for a safe ride:
- Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during your ride.
- Wear a seat belt and a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet.
- In addition to a seat belt and helmet, wear protective clothing such as eye protection, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Keep your speed in check for the terrain, visibility conditions and your experience.
- Know before you go. Review all ATV/UTV laws.
Wisconsin law requires ATV and UTV operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, who are at least 12 years old for an ATV (and at least 16 years old for UTV) must complete an ATV safety certification course to operate in Wisconsin (exception: on private property owned by operator's immediate family). These safety courses can be taken online or in person. A list of approved safety education classes is available on the DNR Safety Education webpage.
Wisconsin law also requires every operator involved in a crash incident to report the incident without delay to law enforcement officials. Operators must submit a written report to the DNR within 10 days of the incident.