Off-road vehicle drivers may need protection on Michigan roads

Off-Road Vehicle enthusiasts need to protect themselves if ORVs are allowed on Michigan roads.

Motorists may have to be on the lookout for another vehicle traveling on Michigan roads this year. The Michigan Senate is currently debating a bill that would allow off-road vehicles (ORVs) to drive on the shoulders of Michigan roads excluding interstate highways.

The law would allow individual counties to adopt an ordinance authorizing ORVs on Michigan roads and prohibit those counties from closing more than 30% of roads to ORV use.

As Michigan personal injury lawyers handling automobile, truck and four-wheeler injury accidents, this law may result in unintended consequences for ORV users who do not know the laws in Michigan.

Michigan law will only provide No-Fault personal protection benefits to an ORV driver injured in a single vehicle accident if the ORV is registered for use on a public highway and insured as a motor vehicle.

If you or a loved one was injured in a serious personal injury accident, please call (231) 929 – 0500 for a free and confidential legal consultation. Personal injury lawyer Mark Dancer has obtained some of Michigan’s largest settlements and verdicts on behalf of individuals injured or killed in all types of accidents, including motor vehicle and truck accidents, elevator accidents, oil field accidents, physical and sexual assaults, dog bites, premises liability claims, and product liability claims. 

Definitions of Motor Vehicle and ORV

“Motor vehicle” means a vehicle, including a trailer, operated or designed for operation upon a public highway by power other than muscular power which has more than 2 wheels. Motor vehicle does not include a motorcycle or a moped, as defined in section 32b of the Michigan vehicle code, 1949 PA 300, MCL 257.32b. Motor vehicle does not include a farm tractor or other implement of husbandry which is not subject to the registration requirements of the Michigan vehicle code pursuant to section 216 of the Michigan vehicle code, 1949 PA 300, MCL 257.216. Motor vehicle does not include an ORV.” MCL 500.3101(2)(e).

“ORV” means a motor-driven recreation vehicle designed for off-road use and capable of cross-country travel without benefit of road or trail, on or immediately over land, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain. ORV includes, but is not limited to, a multitrack or multiwheel drive vehicle, a motorcycle or related 2-wheel, 3-wheel, or 4-wheel vehicle, an amphibious machine, a ground effect air cushion vehicle, an ATV as defined in section 81101 of the natural resources and environmental protection act, 1994 PA 451, MCL 324.81101, or other means of transportation deriving motive power from a source other than muscle or wind. ORV does not include a vehicle described in this subdivision that is registered for use upon a public highway and has the security described in section 3101 or 3103 in effect. MCL 500.3101(2)(g).