Children younger than 16 still make up about one-quarter of deaths and injuries
Although it may seem a long way off in many areas of the U.S., spring and ATV riding season are just around the corner. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to share some important news and safety reminders to help ATV and ROV riders prepare for a safe 2016 riding season.
First, the numbers in the latest CPSC staff report indicate that there are fewer ATV-related injuries and reported deaths than there were nearly a decade ago.
The 2014 Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries, released January 29, 2016 identifies fewer ATV fatalities in recent years. The estimated number of deaths is about 900 for the year 2007, and about 700 for the year 2011, the most recent year for which death reporting is considered complete. Estimates indicate there have been about 665 ATV-related deaths in 2012 and about 650 in 2013. The numbers for 2012 and 2013 are expected to change in future reports since reporting for these years is still ongoing. Not enough data are available to estimate fatalities for 2014.
Injuries have declined significantly from an estimated 150,900 in 2007 to 93,700 in 2014.
But the news is not all good. CPSC staff found that children younger than 16 still make up nearly one-quarter of all ATV-related deaths reported and children younger than 12 still make up nearly half of the deaths for children younger than 16.
Similarly, although there were fewer ATV-related injuries in 2014 than in 2007, injuries to children younger than 16 continued to make up more than 25 percent of ATV-related injuries.
To help drive these numbers down and keep children safe, CPSC urges the riding community to make safety a part of the plan for every ride and to follow these safety tips:
- Never let children ride ATVs that are meant for adults. That means making sure children younger than 16 operate only youth model ATVs appropriate for their age and never allowing children younger than 6 on an ATV.
- Make sure children wear a helmet and other protective gear that fits appropriately.
- Do not drive ATVs on paved roads.
- Do not drive ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger.
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.