Ohio ATV Accidents: New Ohio ATV Laws Work to Save Lives
To the inexperienced, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) may not seem very dangerous, yet each year thousands of Ohioans are seen in emergency room departments across the state because of Ohio ATV accidents.
According to an Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet, Ohio ranks 15th in the nation for the number of deaths caused by ATV accidents. Statistics show that in 2007, more than 10,000 Ohio ATV riders went to the hospital with crash related injuries, what’s more disturbing is that the number of ATV riders injured will most likely only go up as safety agencies continue to gather statistical data for the years of 2008 through 2013.
ATV Accident and Injury Statistics
While the numbers show that far too many Ohio ATV riders are injured or killed in ATV related accidents, the Toledo Blades reports that the statistics reported reflect only a portion of all Ohio ATV accidents. Law enforcement officials across the state have different accident reporting systems including those that do not separate ATV accidents from other types of vehicular accidents. Also, many ATV accidents occur on private land and are not reported to police. This year however, the Ohio State Patrol is using a new accident reporting system that allows them to distinguish between ATV and vehicle accidents.
Current Ohio ATV Safety Laws
ATV riding laws in Ohio are designed to keep ATV riders safe and to decrease accident related injuries and deaths. Current state law mandates –
- That all ATVs are titled and registered. Registration must be renewed every three years
- All ATV drivers and passengers wear eye protection and helmets when riding on state-owned land
- ATV drivers who ride on state land must hold a valid driver’s license or motorcycle endorsement
- All ATVs must display a “distinctly visible” license plate and validation sticker
- Only those over the age of 16 are allowed to operate an ATV on public lands without being accompanied by an adult
In addition, Ohio recently updated its laws to make trespassing on an ATV a fourth degree misdemeanor carrying a fine of up to $250, and incarceration of up to 30 days.
Ohio ATV Safety Courses
The state of Ohio does not mandate that ATV riders take a safety course, however these courses are highly recommended for all ATV riders. The Specialty Vehicle Institute of America offers ATV safety course information for each state, and includes information about any state incentives and course fee reductions. More information about Ohio ATV safety courses can be found at
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