(WFRV) – With Labor Day weekend upon us, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging ATV/UTV operators and passengers to wear helmets, stating that there have already been 22 ATV-related fatalities reported in 2023.

A release from the Wisconsin DNR states that of those 22 fatalities, 20 have been confirmed to have not been wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. In 2021, 21 fatalities were reported.

“We’ve seen more crashes recently that involve minors,” said Lt. Jacob Holsclaw, DNR Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator. “If you’re under 18, you are required by law to wear a helmet, even on private property. Across all ages, we know that there is a much higher chance of serious injury when operators and passengers are not wearing helmets and seatbelts.”

Officials also noted that Wisconsin law requires every operator involved in a crash to report the incident “without delay” to law enforcement officials. It is also required that within 10 days of the incident, the operator must submit a written report to the DNR.

The DNR also encourages all ATV and UTV operators to take an online safety course. A list of approved classes can be found here.