Decade-high number of fatal off-highway vehicle crashes reported in Minnesota so far in 2020

A decade-high number of fatal off-highway vehicle crashes have been reported so far in 2020.

According to a release from the Department of Natural Resources, as of Sept. 3, 19 people in Minnesota have died in off-highway vehicle crashes this year. The previous high in the last decade over an entire year was 18 fatalities.

"We’re seeing riders of all ages and abilities out on the trails this year, which is great," said Jon Paurus, DNR Enforcement Division education program coordinator. "For the most part, people are taking the proper precautions and riding safely. Unfortunately, one seemingly minor mishap can be the difference between a positive memory and a life-changing catastrophe."

The number of registered off-highway vehicles, which includes all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), continues to rise in Minnesota with 329,275 registered in 2019. So far this year, there are nearly 24,000 new registrations.

With fall being one of the busiest times of the year for OHV riding, the DNR wants to remind riders to be safe by:

  • Riding only on designated trails, staying to the right and travelling at a safe speed
  • Riding sober
  • Wearing protective gear including goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, gloves and a Department of Transportation approved helmet
  • Avoid riding on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law
  • Complete a safety course
  • Make sure children have active supervision