Environmental degradation by off-road and all-terrain vehicles

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Destruction of nature by four-wheel-drive cars

Off-road vehicles are predominantly recreational and include motorcycles, minibikes, trail bikes, snowmobiles, dune buggies, all-terrain vehicles, hovercraft and possibly also motor boats. They are motorized and designed for travel on or over all forms of natural terrain. Their increasing popularity is leading to damage to soil and vegetation. Wildlife is harassed and its habitat disrupted. The distances one must travel to find terrain in which to use such vehicles encourages use of them in some places which are unsafe, where ecological damage can be caused, or which are otherwise unsuitable.


Experts in the Glacier National Park in the USA argue that use of a 4-wheel drive vehicle there would damage the ground for ten years, because the ecology is in such a delicate state of balance.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 15: Life on Land
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
09.03.2021 – 18:00 CET