ATV deaths continue to increase in Pa., W.Va


WASHINGTON – Thirty-five witnesses registered to testify about all-terrain vehicle safety at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s regional public hearing in Morgantown, W.Va., June 5.

Pennsylvania and West Virginia recorded 264 and 194 deaths, respectively between 1982 and 2001. Both are ranked in the top six states for ATV-related deaths.

Ohio recorded 124 deaths.

Doubled. Estimated ATV-related injuries in the U.S. have doubled in a recent five-year period and deaths also continue to climb.

The 35 witnesses included medical doctors, injury prevention researchers, ATV dealers, ATV riders, consumer safety advocates, and families of victims from ATV-related crashes.

Drivers, hours. ATV injuries requiring an emergency room visit increased by 104 percent from an estimated 54,700 in 1997 to 111,700 in 2001. In 2001, about a third of these victims were under 16 years old.

In this same period the estimated number of ATV drivers increased 36 percent, driving hours grew 50 percent and the number of ATVs increased 40 percent, according to a recent commission analysis.

Another 100. For 1999, the last year for which death records are substantially complete, the commission has reports of 357 people who died as a result of ATV use, up from 251 in 1998 and 241 in 1997.

The Consumer Federation of America and other groups petitioned the commission in September 2002 to ban the sale of adult-size, four-wheel ATVs sold for the use of children under the age of 16.

Unreasonable risk. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.

Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually.


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