Off-road vehicle crashes and injuries are up in North Dakota

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) There have been several ATV crashes in North Dakota so far this year with some ending tragically. In at least one of those wrecks, the drivers were accused by authorities of being drunk.

Amid the deadly crashes, the North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation is offering tips for those riding off-road vehicles, which includes ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobiles.

“We try to emphasize riding safe and riding smart and that includes wearing your proper protective equipment,” Char Binstock, motorized recreation coordinator for the state’s parks and recreation department, said.

“Definitely tell someone where you're riding, tell them your plans,” Binstock said.

Valley News Live obtained accident data from North Dakota spanning five years.

Since 2014, the number of crashes and injuries for off-road vehicles have increased. Crashes went from 51 in 2014 to 71 last year, while injuries have gone from 47 to 73 during that same span.

“Definitely know your off-highway vehicle and try to ride safe and ride smart,” Binstock said.

The number of fatalities have stayed consistent at two from 2014 to 2018, except for 2016 when it jumped to three.

So far in 2019, North Dakota Highway Patrol stated there have been two deaths with several months still to go in the year. Yet, our previous reports showed at least three deaths, including the two brothers who died in Barnes County on September 6 for allegedly driving drunk.

Binstock said with the upcoming snowmobile season a few weeks away, drivers need to be proactive in placing safety as their top priority.

“Make sure you know your limitation with your off-highway vehicle or snowmobile,” Binstock said.

Those who are driving off-road vehicles are encouraged to take an OHV safety course that’s provided by the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information on off-road vehicles, click on this link: https://www.parkrec.nd.gov/business/recreation-programs.