10:08 AM

Off-Road, On-Guard: Driving Safe and Responsible use of ATVs and UTVs

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs) have become indispensable workhorses on U.S. farms, serving a multitude of purposes from inspecting crops and livestock to transporting supplies across farmland.

Sales and popularity of these devices are also rising. The powersports industry – specifically ATVs and UTVs - is expected to nearly double in market value over the next decade, reaching $69 billion.

But as the use of these vehicles rises for both work and recreation, so do the risks.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 700 deaths and 100,000 emergency department-treated injuries occur each year involving ATVs and UTVs. Research from Nationwide Children’s Hospital also shows greater than 10% of those injuries (11,000) involve children and teens.

“We see the explosive growth in ATV and UTV use across rural America, but it’s also important to recognize the inherent risks they pose to our health, safety and liability if they’re not used correctly,” said Dirk Pollitt, vice president of Farm Sales and Underwriting for Nationwide Agribusiness. “As a protection-focused company, Nationwide is in a strong position to help address this issue and keep farmers and their families safe.”

In March, the company unveiled its new safety initiative, Let’s Champion Rider Safety, aimed at raising awareness and promoting safe and responsible use of ATVs and UTVs.

In partnership with Dale Earnhardt Jr., The ATV Safety Institute (ASI) and the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA), the initiative will provide critical safety information for all operators, free-to-access safety training programs, and more guidance for keeping loved ones out of harm’s way.

The focus also extends to the youth who can be at greater risk of injury. An engaging video series featuring Earnhardt Jr. walks viewers through the essentials of ATV ridership, from the number of riders per vehicle to the importance of designated trails. 

Through a collaboration with the RideSafe Foundation, Nationwide is also planning to host in-person safety events for youth riders in Iowa and Ohio in 2024, with the potential to expand to additional states.

“As we champion rider safety, let’s remember that responsible riding is not just about following rules—it’s about protecting our loved ones and ourselves,” said Pollitt.

Nationwide is working with its valued farm agents and partners to help spread the message. Let’s Champion Rider Safety adds to a growing list of the company’s efforts to protect and advance the future of agriculture, including Grain Bin Safety Week, the Golden Owl Award and Land As Your Legacy.

To learn more or view the Let’s Rider Safety campaign materials, visit Nationwide.com/ATVsafety.