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ATV-related deaths in ’05 reported as government mulls changes – December 25, 2006

December 25, 2006
Filed under Features

The number of ATV-related deaths and injuries largely remained the same in 2005 compared to the prior year, a new and important finding as the federal government considers revising industry safety standards.
The number of reported ATV-related deaths in 2005 was 467, according to the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission’s annual report that was released Dec. 5. That total is significantly below the 2004 figure of 609, but it’s a total that’s likely to rise in the coming years as the commission continues to collect data. The 2004 total, for example, increased by 139 with this year’s data collection and even the 2003 total of 636 increased by almost 11 percent as more ATV-related deaths were reported.
So if the total number of ATV-related deaths currently is increasing or decreasing isn’t real clear. The same could be said for the percentage of ATV-related deaths for children younger than 16. The 2005 total currently is 26 percent, a number that’s nearly the same as previous years. But that number could rise in the coming years as more data is collected.
What is clear is the number of four-wheel quads the public is using is continuing to climb. The commission’s report estimates 7.6 million ATVs were in use in 2005, a 700,000 increase over 2004 and an 81 percent increase over 2000.
Even as the number of quads in use increased, the number of estimated ATV-related injuries stayed largely the same. The estimate in 2005 is 136,700, less than a 1 percent increase over 2004. The estimated number of injuries to youth aged 16 and under, however, fell nearly 11 percent.
That finding, along with a nearly identical injury rate while quad usage continues to increase, was highlighted by the Special Vehicle Institute of American, a nonprofit association sponsored by industry OEMs.
“The CPSC report again shows that the commitment of the member companies of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America to rider education, parental supervision, and state legislation is working and has resulted in a continued decline in injury and fatality rates over the past several years,” Tim Buche, president of the SVIA, said in a news release.
“Since 1984, the major manufacturers and distributors of ATVs in the United States have worked closely with the CPSC to implement ongoing safety initiatives.”
The Consumer Safety Product Commission did note in its annual report that estimated ATV-related injuries have increased by 24 percent since 2001 and that the estimated injuries to youth ages 16 and over have increased by nearly 18 percent since 2001.
During that span, however, the number of quads in use jumped from 4.9 million to 7.6 million — a 55 percent increase.

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