Wear A Helmet This Weekend

Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

The Wisconsin DNR reminds ATV/UTV riders to make safety their number one priority this spring.

A lack of snow melt and early spring weather means drier trails and more opportunities for riders to get out on private and public land across Wisconsin. Regardless of weather and trail conditions, safety must remain a priority for rec vehicle riders.

2023 ATV/UTV incident data underscores the importance of safe riding practices:

  • 282 reported crashes
  • 32 fatal incidents
  • 99 passengers were injured
  • 95% of fatality victims were not wearing a helmet

There have already been five fatal crashes in the state so far this year.

“All of these crashes were preventable,” says Lt. Warden Jacob Holsclaw, DNR Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator. “Riders need to wear a helmet and seatbelt, drive responsibly and choose not to drink alcohol before or during a ride. We continue to see those as top factors in offroad vehicle crashes.”

Crashes can happen to anyone. Always follow basic off-road vehicle safety to mitigate the risk of a crash or fatal incident. This includes staying sober, wearing a helmet, using a UTV seatbelt and taking an ATV safety course.

Some additional things to keep in mind when operating your recreational vehicle include:

  • Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during your ride.
  • Do not travel in unfamiliar areas.
  • Follow all posted speed limits and regulatory signs.
  • Let someone not riding with you know where you are going and when you will return.
  • Double-check before operating on trails. Many trails open to ATVs/UTVs are closed during winter in anticipation of snowmobile season.