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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
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U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Issues ATV Safety Warning

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Due to an increased number of ATV deaths, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a safety warning this past week:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging ATV riders to stay safe on the trails and make 2012 the year that curbs the annual rise in deaths and injuries seen every summer.

On average from 2004 to 2006, deaths of children aged 16 and younger rose about 65 percent from March to April. Adult deaths rose 85 percent over the same period. If riders are not vigilant about safety, reports of ATV-related deaths are expected to continue to rise through the summer, peaking in July.

On average, each year from 2004 to 2010, there were nearly 700 ATV-related fatalities and about 136,000 emergency-department treated injuries, many of which were life-altering.

Already this year, CPSC staff has received preliminary reports of 130 adults and 28 children under the age of 16 who died since January in ATV-related incidents around the country. As of June 1, at least 14 adults and three children were reported to have died from incidents occurring during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, May 25 to May 28.

They also issued a list of safety tips:

  • All ATV drivers, adults and children, should take a hands-on ATV safety course from a certified instructor.
  • Always wear protective gear – especially a helmet – when riding ATVs.
  • Do not ride on a single-rider ATV as a passenger or carry a passenger if you drive one.
  • Never allow more people on any ATV than the vehicle was designed to carry.
  • Do not drive ATVs on paved roads. ATVs have solid rear axles, which make turning on paved surfaces difficult and dangerous and increase the risk of the ATV overturning or hitting another object, such as a tree or car.
  • Do not permit children younger than 16 years old to drive or ride adult ATVs. Children younger than 16 years old lack the developmental skills to safely drive adult ATVs, and more than 90 percent of all injuries to children involve this scenario. Likewise, children younger than 6 should never be on an ATV – either as a driver or passenger.

To learn more about safe riding and the safety of your family on ATVs, visit ATVSafety.gov

We've handled a number of these cases over time. Sometimes they involve the crossing of highways and other impacts with other ATVs. Hopefully, more people will be heed this national warning and we will see a lot less of these injuries.