New UTV, RUV, MUV, Side-by-Side equipment brings a new factor when calculating ATV accident statistics.
ATV use is growing in popularity, but data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that accident injuries and fatalities are on the decline – a very good thing. Because of expanding technology and new forms of all-terrain vehicles like UTV and side-by-side equipment, there has been some concern as to whether the CPSC has properly taken them into consideration when making comparisons to previous statistics. UTVs didn’t exist in past years which mean including them in the data set would skew any potential comparisons. Another ATV-related group, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), is interested in safety as well, and it recently backed the CPSC findings.
The following is courtesy of the SVIA:
“The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a report that showed significant progress in reducing injuries and fatalities associated with all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use. The ‘CPSC 2008 Annual Report on ATV Deaths and Injuries’ found that total ATV-related injuries in 2008 decreased 10% from 2007, with injuries to children under 16 declining 6%.
“Following CPSC’s release of this report, some groups have made statements containing false information regarding the report’s data, implying that the decrease in injuries was due to CPSC compiling the 2008 data in a different manner than in previous years by removing recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) from the report. This is simply not true. ROVs have never been included in the CPSC’s Annual Report.
“The CPSC compiled data for the 2008 report in the same way it has done previously. In fact, in comparing the 2007 and 2008 CPSC reports, CPSC offers the same definition of what is, and what is not, an ATV. The 2007 and 2008 reports both state: ‘The CPSC defines an ATV as an off-road, motorized vehicle having three or four low pressure tires, a straddle seat for the operator, and handlebars for steering control’ [the 2008 report added ‘for steering control]. As important, both the 2007 and 2008 report stated that ‘Off-road motor vehicles having bench seats and/or steering wheels… are not categorized as ATVs by CPSC staff. Consequently, fatalities and injuries associated with these types of vehicles are not included in this report.’
“The CPSC’s most recent report should be viewed as good news by all and reflects the results of the long-standing, tireless efforts made by major ATV manufacturers and distributors to promote ATV safety.”
A copy of the CPSC’s 2008 Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries is available at http://www.cpsc.gov/LIBRARY/FOIA/FOIA10/os/atv2008.pdf. The CPSC’s 2007 Annual Report can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov/LIBRARY/atv2007.pdf.
The ATV industry is committed to the safety of riders and will continue to promote and enhance its multi-tiered efforts to increase awareness of the proper operation and use of ATVs. Unfortunately, more than 92% of ATV-related fatalities involve one or more behaviors that the industry strongly and visibly warns against in its rider education programs, in all its literature, and on the vehicles themselves.
The ATV industry remains concerned that the effective ban on the sale of youth model ATVs resulting from the lead content provisions contained in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will likely result in children under 12 years of age riding the more accessible larger and faster adult-size vehicles, creating – in the CPSC’s own words – a “more serious and immediate risk of injury or death” than any risk from lead exposure. SVIA strongly encourages Congress to end the ban on the sale of youth model ATVs.
We urge all ATV enthusiasts and their families to follow the Golden Rules:
1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
2. Never ride on public roads — another vehicle could hit you.
3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle.
5. Ride an ATV that’s right for your age.
6. Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
8 Take an ATV RiderCourseSM; call toll-free at 800.887.2887, or take the free E-Course at www.atvsafety.org.