On The Farm Or Trail… Wear A Helmet

Photo Credit: iStock/jetstream4wd

So far this year, 17 people have died in ATV/UTV crashes in Wisconsin. Most crash victims were not wearing seatbelts or helmets. The DNR is urging riders and passengers to wear their helmets and seatbelts while our riding this fall.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 71 percent of fatally injured ATV riders were killed in crashes involving no other vehicles in 2020. Helmets and seatbelts dramatically reduce the chance of serious injury, especially in single vehicle crashes.

“ATVs are popular for work and recreational purposes such as trail riding and hunting,” says Major April Dombrowski, DNR Recreational Safety Section Chief. “Protect yourself and loved ones by always wearing a helmet. It’s the single most important piece of protection an ATV or UTV rider can wear.”

In addition to wearing a helmet, follow these tips for a safe ride:

  • Use extra caution when operating on pavement.
  • Always operate at a responsible speed and within your abilities.
  • Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during your ride.
  • In addition to a seat belt and helmet, wear protective clothing such as eye protection, gloves, long pants and long sleeves.
  • Know before you go. Review all ATV/UTV laws: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/atv

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. See a list of approved safety education classes: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/Education/OutdoorSkills/safetyEducation

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.