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Fatal Off-Highway Vehicle Accident A Reminder To Practice OHV Safety


November 1, 2015

The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds all off-highway vehicle (OHV) drivers and passengers to wear the proper safety gear, including a helmet, in the wake of a fatal roll-over collision near Cottonwood recently.

"It's critically important for all OHV drivers and passengers to always wear a helmet, regardless if you're on an ATV or side-by-side vehicle," said Matt Eberhart, Game and Fish OHV Safety Education coordinator. "Helmets really do save lives and OHV operators should put their own safety first when operating their machines."

According to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, which investigated Tuesday's crash, a 66-year-old driver wasn't wearing a helmet or seat belt when his side-by-side OHV landed approximately 50 feet down a 100-foot cliff. He was transported to an area hospital and later died from his injuries.

It is recommended that all riders wear a helmet while on the trails; however, they are required under state law for all riders under 18 years old, regardless of what type of OHV they are on.

In addition, they should remember to -

Wear riding goggles, a long-sleeved shirt, pants, riding gloves and over-the-ankle boots.

Never ride alone.

Be prepared and equipped with a map, a first aid kit, whistle and have basic tools on hand.

Stay on designated trails.


Take an OHV safety education course designed to teach off-road motorists how to ride safely and responsibly.

"OHV operators should also remember to only carry the number of passengers recommended for your vehicle," Eberhart said. "Often many accidents are the result of too many people riding a machine that was designed for fewer passengers. Overall though, the simplest thing people can do to survive an accident is wearing a helmet and riding responsibly."

There were 352 non-fatal hospitalizations and 1,677 non-fatal emergency room visits due to OHV injuries Arizona last year. Statewide, there were 21 OHV-related fatalities in 2014.

For more information about the Arizona Game and Fish OHV program and on safety courses, visit


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