According to the Consumer Federation of America, there have been at least 508 all terrain vehicle and recreational off-highway vehicle deaths this year. As part of its ongoing work to educate consumers on using ATVs and ROVs safely, CFA has been tracking and posting ATV and ROV fatalities on its ATV coalition webpage: http://consumerfed.org/ATVunsafeonroads.
ATVs are off-road, motorized vehicles having three or four low-pressure tires, a straddle seat for the operator, and handlebars for steering control. ROVs are off road vehicles that have 4 or more wheels, bench or bucket seating, automotive type controls, rollover bars, occupant restraints and a maximum speed over 30 mph.
The data is compiled from news reports and other sources collected by CFA’s ATVs on Roads coalition, composed of ATV safety advocates, academics and medical professionals.
From this data, CFA was able to further document that:
- The majority of deaths took place on roads: Of the 508 fatalities documented, 475 could be coded as on or off road. Of those 475 fatalities, 272, or 57 percent, took place on roads.
- ROVs are a significant percentage of fatalities: Of the 508 fatalities, it was possible to determine the vehicle type in 505 of those fatalities. Of those 505 fatalities 89, or 18 percent, took place on an ROV.
Nearly 20 percent of those killed were under the age of 16 and approximately 10 percent were under age 12: Of the 508 fatalities it was possible to determine the age of the victim in 503 of the cases. Of those 503 victims, 93, or 18 percent, were under the age of 16 and 46, or 10 percent, were under the age of 12.
“This new data reinforces key safety messages that CFA has been making for many years: do not operate ATVs or ROVs on roads; these vehicles are not toys; do not let children operate vehicles that are too large and powerful for them to operate,” said Rachel Weintraub, legislative director and general counsel for CFA.
In March of 2014, CFA released a report, “ATVs on Roadways: A Safety Crisis” which evaluates laws from all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The report finds that, in spite of warnings from manufacturers, federal agencies and consumer and safety advocates that ATVs are unsafe on roadways, for several years an increasing number of states have passed laws allowing ATVs on public roads. In this report CFA also analyzes recent research on ATV fatalities on roadways and provides recommendations to reverse this dangerous trend.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s most recent release of data on ATV fatalities and injuries, released in April 2014, showed an increase in injuries from 107,500 in 2011 to 107,900 in 2012. The estimated number of ATV-related fatalities for all ages decreased from 771 in 2010 to 684 in 2011. The agency notes, however, that the 2011 data are not considered complete.
“The combination of the results from our March 2014 report on the disturbing trend of state and local lawmakers sanctioning ATV use on roads and the fatality data we are sharing today should be considered as further evidence that ATVs do not belong on roads,” stated Michael Best, policy advocate at CFA.
In addition, CFA urges the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to consider CFA’s 2014 fatality data during its ROV rulemaking process in 2015. “This data supports the need for a strong CPSC mandatory standard that addresses the serious risks posed by ROVs. CFA’s 2014 fatality data may show a dramatic increase in ROV fatalities,” Weintraub said.
As part of the ROV Proposed Rule dated September 24, 2014, the CPSC reported that it was aware of 335 ROV fatalities reported between January 1, 2003 and April 5, 2013. Those reports span over a decade while CFA found that in 2014 alone, there were 89 ROV fatalities, which is 27 percent of the previous fatality number documented over a much longer time frame.
Source: Consumer Federation of America
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