5 Reasons Why ATVs Don’t Have Seatbelts (UTVs Do)

ATVs, known for their versatility and ability to tackle various terrains, have become a favorite recreational and utility vehicle for many.

However, safety is always a concern when operating any vehicle, and a frequent question that arises among potential ATV users and enthusiasts is, “Do ATVs have seatbelts?”

In this post, I want to go over why ATVs don’t have seatbelts and other safety features of ATVs, and the reasons behind such design choices.

Do ATVs Have Seatbelts?

ATVs do NOT come with seatbelts, but UTVs and side by sides do.

The way an ATV is designed is different from a UTV, and a seatbelt can cause many issues such as the ones listed below.

  1. A seatbelt could trap riders.
  2. Limited mobility.
  3. Can’t ditch the ATV easily.
  4. No good strap points.
  5. More chances something going wrong.

Let’s go over each point in the next sections to better understand why a seatbelt for an ATV is not a thing.

1. A Seatbelt Could Trap Riders

A seatbelt makes sense in a car or a vehicle that is enclosed, such as a UTV.

An ATV is more like a motorcycle, which also don’t have seatbelts. Since you don’t have a protective cage around you, if the ATV rolls over on you, then you run the risk of getting trapped if you’re strapped to the ATV with a seatbelt.

Without the seatbelt, when the ATV rolls over you can push it off you or jump away.

2. Limited Mobility

With an ATV and even motorcycles, you tend to move around more and shift your weight where it’s needed.

If you had a seatbelt, you won’t be able to move and can end up causing more problems.

Being able to shift your body weight to either side of the ATV is important for tricky rock climbing, hill climbing and more that you do with your ATV. Even bogging the ATV in the mud would be very dangerous if it were required to use a seatbelt.

3. Can’t Ditch The ATV Easily

At lower speeds, you may find that you need to ditch or jump off the ATV to protect yourself in a crash.

I’ve had buddies let the ATV go off the side of a mountain to protect themselves. If they were forced to use a seatbelt on their ATV, they probably wouldn’t be alive today.

ATVs tend to have a higher center of gravity than other off-road machines, so being able to ditch the ATV at the last minute can be helpful or life-saving.

4. No Good Strap Points

In a car or UTV, you’re being cradled in a seat, so a strap over your chest and lower torso makes sense.

But when it comes to an ATV, where do you put the seat belt? You have your feet to each side, nothing to support your back, and you need to be able to move freely.

You simply don’t have good strap down points for a seatbelt when it comes to ATVs.

5. More Chances For Something To Go Wrong

Since you don’t have any good strap down points for a seatbelt on an ATV, you end up having more chances for things to go wrong.

For example, your leg getting caught on a rock because the ATV rolled over, and you can’t break free because the seatbelt is keeping you from doing so.

If you need an off-road vehicle that has seat belts, then you need to look into getting a UTV or side by side.

What Has Seatbelts?

It’s more common to find seatbelts on UTVs or side by sides than it is for ATVs.

A UTV more resembles a truck then an ATV, while an ATV resembles more of a motorcycle but with 4 wheels.

A UTV is more likely to have a roll cage, too, to offer even greater protection than an ATV. A UTV is not perfect, you’ll find that most trucks and modern cars offer better crash protection, but they also can’t go as many places or do as much as many modern UTVs.

Difference Between ATV & UTV?

A ATV and UTV may seem similar, but they’re not quite the same.

An ATV will not have a roll cage around it and it more like a motorcycle with a saddle seat as shown in the image below.

A side by side or UTV will have a roll cage around it, have seats that are similar to the seats in your car, and will also have seatbelts most of the time as shown in the image below.

The side by side shown above is a 4 seater option and all 4 seats have seatbelts. You’ll find side by sides tend to be able to carry more people, where a ATV are often limited to 2 people at the most.

Single Seater UTVs?

There are a few UTVs that are the size of a ATV, but still have a roll cage and come with a seatbelt.

Some may call them ATVs, as they’re the same size, but it’s still a UTV with a seatbelt.

Can You Put A Car Seat In A Side By Side?

You can NOT put a car seat meant for a child in your UTV or side by side. There are weight, height and age restrictions for ATVs and UTVs for the driver and the people who ride.

You can get booster seats for UTVs and side by sides as covered here.

Always follow the recommended safety restrictions for your ATV and side by side.

Do Kids ATVs Have Seatbelts?

Just like adult sized ATVs, kid ATVs don’t have seatbelts for the same reasons.

It’s still suggested you wear a helmet and all the proper gear when riding any kind of off-road vehicle.

Do ATVs Have Roll Cages?

ATVs do not come with roll cages, but UTVs and side by sides will often have roll cages.

A roll cage will protect you in the event of a roll over, and with ATVs weight over 600 pounds and getting bigger every year, the thought of roll cages being added to ATVs is increasing.

There is current talks across the world to add some kind of roll cage or protections for ATV riders. What needs to happen is movements from the ATV manufacturers, especially since they keep making ATVs bigger. It didn’t used to be such a big issue as ATVs would weigh a little more than most riders, but now they can weigh triple that.