• Beckside Machinery

The big debate:  UTVs vs. ATVs, which one is better, and which one is the safest?

Of course, no one quad bike is better than the other as primarily it all depends on what you will be using the bike for and who the quad is for.


In most cases, both UTVs and ATVs carry the same characteristics; however, let’s not be mistaken; there are some clear distinctions between the vehicles.


The big debate:  UTVs vs. ATVs, which one is better, and which one is the safest?

In this post, we bring to light these differences, allowing you to make the most informed decision about which quad is the best one for you.


Is a UTV safe to ride?

When it comes to providing the higher levels of safety and protection to riders, a UTV is where it’s at.


With a roll cage installed over the top of the quad itself, this additional feature helps to provide that additional element of safety.


And when we look closer at the statistics:


In 2018 it was reported that six people died in a UTV related accident, compared to approximately 300 people who died due to an ATV related accident!


These numbers are astounding.


However, we must stress; they also need to be put into perspective; for example, in the same report, approximately 5,000 people died in a motorcycle accident.

However, what these stats do show us is that appropriate safety wear, training, and experience play a big part – and these elements must not be forgotten.

Safety Features of a UTV

As well as cages, UTVs also comes equipped with:

  • Roll bars

  • Seat belts

  • Sometimes doors (depending on make and model)

  • Windshields

  • And more!

ATVs don’t come with any of these features, but it’s important to remember they’re not designed to - making a clear distinction between the two bikes, their use, purpose, and capabilities.


Ultimately, if you’re unfortunate to experience an accident on a quad bike, you would be safer in a UTV compared to that of an ATV.

Our recommendations to keep you safe

  • Wear a helmet!

  • Consider PPE such as eye protection, gloves, boots, long pants

  • Windshield

  • Roll Bars

  • Kill switch/cord

  • Doors or door nets if you prefer something more flexible

  • Headlights and rear lights

  • Flags – to help people see where you are.


Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when off-roading.  Taking the necessary safety precautions where possible can help to reduce the chances of severe injury and fatalities.

Side by Side UTVs


UTV’s are also known as side by sides, and because of this you will find a UTVs wheelbase to be much wider than that of an ATV, and it also sits lower to the ground in comparison.


This makes a UTV much safer at handling sharp bends at speed, providing stability and a stronger grip on the terrain.


There’s also a difference in vehicle weight with a UTV weighing much more than your standard ATV.


Of course, this means ATVs can reach faster speeds; however, it also means potentially an increase in accidents – especially to those inexperienced riders.


This leads to the biggest cause of accidents on UTVs and ATVs…human error.  This is why we need to take all the proper precautions and be conscious and fully aware of our surroundings while riding.


UTV Safety


Most used UTVs for sale will come with all of the appropriate safety features you would expect to see of these quads (those mentioned above).