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UTV vs ATV: Which one is Safer to Ride?

UTV has become more popular over the years. Though ATV earned the spotlight a few years back, many are getting more interested in the former.

UTV and ATV though they are a bit similar since both can travel in rough terrains; however, these two are different. UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) is designed for heavy work rather than recreational rides. This type of vehicle can accommodate two or four passengers, wherein they can sit side-by-side. It is the reason why UTV is also called as side by side or SXS.

The function and performance of a UTV depend on its attachments. For instance, you can hitch a mower at the back of a UTV and drag it over the grass; or you can attach a snow plow at the front of the vehicle to remove snow. Likewise, UTV has a lot of storage room. It can carry heavy loads and haul supplies easily.

Meanwhile, an ATV (All-terrain Vehicle) is ideal for recreational use. You can usually find ATV at Motorcross events or on recreational grounds and parks. But when it comes to hauling supplies, ATV is not the best option. It does not have the requisite storage space and power to handle heavy loads.

Which One is Safer to Ride?

One question that people ask when choosing whether to ride a UTV or an ATV is the safety measure of each vehicle. It is customary that vehicles should have safety features to protect its riders and passengers. The same goes for these two vehicles. However, UTV and ATV offer different levels of safety measures.

A UTV is a four-wheeled vehicle. You can add more wheels on the car for specialized functions. Moreover, it uses a steering wheel and foot pedals for braking and acceleration, similar to a standard car. Also, each passenger has a seatbelt. The vehicle features roll bars and a windshield for additional protection.

When it comes to the center of gravity, UTV features payload below the top of the tires to provide stability and balance. Given all these facts, UTV is indeed a safe ride.

What about ATVs? Is it safe to ride?

Remember that ATV is an open vehicle. It does not have either a cabin or a windshield to protect the rider. Some ATVs have four wheels, whereas others have three. Instead of using a steering wheel, this type of vehicle has handlebars for control. You can manage the speed using the thumb throttle. Unfortunately, it is tough to control, making it unpredictable when riding in rocky terrains.

ATVs don’t have a lot of safety equipment, unlike UTVs. They do have roll bars, but not all ATV has this feature. It is why ATV riders are strongly advised to wear protective gear, such as clothing, boots, gloves, and helmet to prevent grave injuries.

Statistically speaking, the accident rate of ATVs is higher compared to UTVs. According to a survey in 2018, 300 individuals died in an accident involving ATVs. It is far from the count of UTV deaths, which are 12 individuals.


It is evident that UTVs is safer compared to ATVs. However, one should not be complacent when riding the vehicle. Make sure to wear protective gear to reduce the risk of injuries.