ATVs were developed in Japan so that isolated farmers could transport their crops and supplies across rugged terrain. Their popularity spread to the United States and Canada.
- In 1969, Honda® introduced the All-Terrain Cycle (ATC) in the United States. The ATC had three fat wheels and was promoted as a recreational vehicle.
- After 1988, ATVs fell somewhat out of favor as a recreational vehicle because of a Consumer Products Safety Commission report. ATV riders were involved in a disproportionately high number of injury accidents due to rider immaturity, inexperience, and lack of safety training.
- More recently, a new generation of recreational riders, with a growing awareness of safety, has rediscovered the fun of ATVs.
- While newer ATVs may have better safety features than their predecessors, they also have faster, better-performing engines that make safety an even more critical issue to be addressed by all responsible riders.