All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and side-by-side vehicles (SSV) are highly-useful pieces of farm and recreation equipment that are used across Australia daily.

These vehicles are not toys, they need to be used appropriately. The known safety practices and training currently promoted by the industry and user groups has been developed over decades of use by the engineers, trainers and other safety experts who design, manufacture and use the vehicles.

These practices and training have been proven to help keep ATV and SSV users safer when using their vehicles.

In addition, continued and real-world research and development by the manufacturers is helping to produce new ATVs and SSVs with improved performance for famers and other users.

Recent calls to implement a star rating for ATVs, based on research that does not correlate with real world performance is premature and needs to be further explored.

The FCAI is interested in the development of a star rating for ATVs and SSVs that provides consumers with real-world information about the safety and comparative performance of a vehicle. ATVs, in particular, require correct use and some active riding to maximise safety and performance.

The star rating proposed by the University of NSW Traffic and Road Safety team is based on research that does not relate testing outcomes (or vehicle characteristics) to any real world data, so it cannot accurately inform ATV and SSV consumers about the relative safety of one vehicle versus another.

The FCAI is disappointed with the promotion of this form of star rating. We believe that it is essential any star rating system for any vehicle, including ATVs and SSVs, accurately validates each particular vehicle’s safety benefits compared with other like vehicles.

The FCAI will continue to support vehicle studies that aim to improve safety, and provide accurate information to consumers of off-road utility and recreation vehicles. Until a scientifically-based rating system that is relevant to off-road vehicles is available, the FCAI recommends that regulators refer to the international ANSI-SVIA and ROHVA standards for ATV and SSVs.

For detailed information, visit the ATV Safety page..