CPSC Reports ATV Injuries on the Decline

Source: Jason Giacchino March 12, 2013

Finally, after years of negative publicity, the ATV industry receives some encouraging news: All-terrain vehicle injuries have declined significantly over the past five years, showing “a change in trend direction” according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC’s 2011 Annual Report of All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)-Related Deaths and Injuries shows the CPSC is reporting a decrease in the estimated number of ATV injuries for the fifth consecutive year.

CPSC acknowledged for the first time in its annual report that “the number of injuries per year has gone through a statistically significant decline in recent years (2007-2011).” The agency stated that the decline in injuries “shows a change in the trend direction for ATV-related injury estimates.” The report also found injuries involving children younger than 16 has declined 27 percent from 2007 to 2011.

The CPSC report shows the risk of injury per 10,000 four-wheel ATVs in use declined by more than six percent from 2010 to 2011, and by more than 50 percent over the past ten years. This is the tenth straight year that injury risk for ATV riders has decreased – a downward trend that the CPSC also describes as statistically significant – and is now lower than at any time since CPSC began calculating injury risk in 1985.

There are now 10.6 million four-wheel ATVs in use, more than tripling since 1998. The report also found that estimated ATV-related fatalities have declined each year from 2006 through 2011 but noted that data collection for 2008-2011 is ongoing. Estimated fatality risk per 10,000 four-wheel ATVs in use dropped from 1.1 in 2005 to 0.9 in 2007 (the latest year in which fatality data are complete). “While there continue to be too many serious ATV incidents, mostly occurring from riding improperly, we are gratified that the longtime commitment of the ATV Safety Institute’s member companies to rider education, parental supervision, and state legislation has contributed to a 50 percent reduction in injury risk and a continuing decline in fatality risk,” 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.

We appreciate the CPSC’s cooperation in these safety efforts, including the agency’s creation of the ATV Safety website that helps increase awareness about ATV safety.” In 2009, the industry’s voluntary ANSI/SVIA vehicle 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.

The ATV industry is committed to the safety of its customers and will continue to promote and enhance its multitiered 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 ASI urges all ATV enthusiasts and their families to follow its Golden Rules:

  • Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
  • 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.
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people.
  • Ride an ATV that’s right for your age.
  • Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
  • Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.

Take a hands-on ATV RiderCourse; and the free online E-Course. Visit www.atvsafety.org or call 800.887.2887

In Idaho, you can sign up for ATV Classes through Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation.