Recreational Off-highway Vehicle Injuries

girl next to ROV


The Consumer Products Safety Commission defines recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) as motorized vehicles designed for off-highway use with the following features: four or more pneumatic tires designed for off-highway use; bench or bucket seats for two or more occupants; automotive-type controls for steering; throttle and braking; and a maximum vehicle speed greater than 30 miles per hour (mph).[1]

Since ROVs’ introduction in the 1990s, the public has become increasingly aware of their dangerous characteristics, such as their susceptibility to rolling over. Nevertheless, yearly ROV sales has risen dramatically.

As a result, the United States Consumer Safety Commission began gathering data of ROV-related incidents between 2003 and 2013 and made recommendations for reducing the risks of operating ROVs.

  • From 2003 to 2013, the Consumer Products Safety Commission documented 428 ROV-related incidents.
  • In the 428 ROV-related incidents, there were a total of 826 victims.
  • Of those 826 victims, 231 died and 75 suffered severe injuries with lasting repercussions.
  • 52% of all ROV-related incidents resulted in a death to at least one of the occupants.
  • Of the 428 ROV-related incidents, 76 involved drivers under the age of 16.
  • Of the 428 ROV-related incidents, 291 involved a rollover.
  • Of the 231 deaths, 150 involved a rollover.
  • Of the 231 deaths, 194 were ejected partially or fully from the ROV.

Based on the data, the Consumer Safety Commission made the following recommendations:

  • Do not drive ROVs on paved roads.
  • Everyone riding in an ROV should wear a helmet.
  • Just like in the commercials, everyone should wear protective gear such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and long-sleeved shirt.
  • Always fasten seat belts and keep all parts of your body inside the vehicle.
  • Never have more passengers than there are seat belts and never carry passengers in cargo beds.
  • Never transport passengers who cannot place both feet on the floorboard with their backs against the seat.[2]


The South Texas injury lawyers at Webb Cason, P.C. have represented victims of ROV and ATV-related incidents and have seen the devastating consequences of improperly using ROVs and ATVs. Webb Cason, P.C. asks that if you or someone under your supervision is going to drive or ride in an ROV or ATV, follow the Consumer Safety Commission’s recommendations – limit your risk of devastation.




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