The CPSC also reported that the risk of injury per 10,000 four-wheel ATVs in use declined by five percent from 2008 to 2009. This is the eighth straight year that injury risk for ATV riders has decreased – a downward trend that the CPSC also describes as statistically significant – and it is now lower than at any time since CPSC began calculating this injury risk in 1985. Four-wheel ATVs have become increasingly popular with the number of vehicles in use more than tripling since 1998 to over 10.5 million.
“The commitment of the member companies of the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) to rider education, parental supervision, and state legislation is reflected in the continued decline of ATV injuries and fatalities as reported by the CPSC,” said Paul Vitrano, executive vice president, ASI. “Since 1984, the major manufacturers and distributors of ATVs in the United States have worked closely with the CPSC to implement ongoing safety initiatives.”
In 2009, the industry’s voluntary ANSI/SVIA standard was made mandatory as a result of federal legislation. The legislation requires all ATV manufacturers and distributors, regardless of where the product is manufactured (imported or U.S.), to adhere to the same safety standards and training programs established and followed by the ASI member companies for more than two decades. This includes newer companies in the U.S. market that had previously elected not to participate in safety programs developed by established manufacturers and in some cases targeted inappropriate models to youth riders. Under the legislation, all ATV manufacturers now must certify that their products conform to the mandatory standards, and file safety action plans with the CPSC.
“CPSC studies have found that approximately 90 percent of injuries to youth under 16 occur on adult-sized ATVs,” said Vitrano. “We will be redoubling our efforts in the new Congress to enact legislation as soon as possible to end the effective ban on the sale of youth model ATVs and motorcycles.”
The ATV industry is committed to the safety of its customers 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.
To that end we urge all ATV enthusiasts and their families to follow the ATV Safety Institute’s Golden Rules:
1. Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
2. Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law – another vehicle could hit you. ATVs are designed to be operated off-highway.
3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people.
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 a hands-on ATV RiderCourse; and the free online E-Course. Visit atvsafety.org or call 800.887.2887.