For some Tribes located in remote areas the primary mode of travel may not be conventional motor-vehicles. Trail, ice road, air, and marine travel may be significantly more prominent in some Tribal communities than the use of standard roadway vehicles used in most of the United States. At national and regional levels, data is extremely limited on the fatal and injury incidents associated with the use of many of these modes. The safety issues associated with these modes of travel are likely to be different from the motor vehicle issues.

Tribes are strongly encouraged to develop a transportation safety plan that describes the Tribe’s transportation safety history. These plans should be based on local knowledge of incident history in the absence of formal incident databases. These plans can be an especially helpful communication tool when the primary modes of travel are not conventional motor vehicles. Such plans could help to enhance the understanding of these issues by safety partners.

Resources are limited for this topic because it is very broad and not well documented or understood. Tribal communities looking to address offroad transportation safety should consider the applicability of countermeasures and principals found in the other sections of this plan. Many of these strategies may have applicability, especially those that address behavioral issues like occupant protection and impairment. Further research is needed to understand the magnitude of the problem and associated risk factors.


Many behavioral efforts designed for roadway vehicle drivers can be adapted for operators of off-road vehicles. Consider the resources available in the behavioral sections of this website in addition to the following.

Ice Roads

Tribal Transportation Program Delivery Guide, Ice Roads Standards
Recorded Webinar: Ice Road Safety Link


US Coast Guard Auxiliary Link

Snowmobile safety

Snowmobile Safety Awareness Program Link

ATV safety

ATV Safety Institute

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