Planning on hitting the trails (within your health region) on your all-terrain vehicle (ATV) this May Long Weekend?

ATVs are fun to drive and a common pastime for British Columbians; many of us grew up riding dirt bikes and quads with our families. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much experience one has with ATVs – collisions, roll-overs, and injuries do happen. But, they are preventable!

ATVs are built with increased ground clearance to travel over rough terrain, which results in a high centre of gravity.  Riders also have to make quick decisions when traversing uneven ground, especially when speed is a factor. A high centre of gravity mixed with excessive speeds is a roll-over waiting to happen.

ATVs weigh anywhere between 300-600 pounds. Being pinned under an ATV could be lethal. If you think you can bench press 300-600 pounds, think again!

The physical and mental responses needed to operate an ATV are slowed when alcohol is involved. While it is illegal to operate an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, alcohol continued to be a contributing factor in half of all ATV fatalities between 2009 and 2017.[i]

According to the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, there were 933 ATV-related patients hospitalized in BC between 2016/17 and 2018/19, averaging 311 cases per year:

  • 81% were male
  • 41% were 20-39 years of age
  • 19 % were passengers
  • 95% occurred in off-road areas

So, before heading out on your ATV this long weekend, have a word with yourself.

[i] BCIRPU Injury Insight – ATV Safety