CPSC Urges ATV Riders to Be Safe Amid Annual Surge in ATV-Related Deaths
The US 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 typically seen every summer.
From 2004 through 2010, these were nearly 700 ATV-related fatalities and about 136,000 emergency-department treatment injuries, many of which were permanently life-altering.
Already in 2012, CPSC has 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.
Many ATV-related deaths and injuries occur when an inexperienced driver loses control, is thrown from an ATV, overturns the vehicle, or collides with a fixed object or a motor vehicle. ATV drivers with more than one year of experience have a significantly lower risk of injury than less experienced drivers.
Proper training is critical to show new drivers how to handle multiple off-road riding situations. Retailers and organizations around the country now offer hands-on training to help riders gain experience and learn safe riding practices before hitting the trail solo.
CPSC offers the following tips and guidelines to help ATV riders recognize hazards and make riding both fun and safe:
- 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.