Report: 62 die in ATV accidents over a decade

Friday, August 19th 2005, 6:14 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- 62 people died and more than 350 were hospitalized from all-terrain vehicle accidents during an 11-year period in Oklahoma, according to a newly published study.

The report in the "Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association" said that from 1992 to 2002, 38 of the 62 people killed in such accidents suffered fatal brain injuries and 24 died from other types of injuries suffered in ATV accidents.

According to the data, which was collected by the Oklahoma State Department of Health's Injury Prevention Service, the number of ATV injuries doubled in 1999 and 2000 from the previous seven years.

Nationally, there was more than a 100 percent increase in ATV-related injuries and deaths from 1997 to 2002, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found.

The commission also found that per riding hour, children under 16 were 54 percent more likely to be hurt than those over 16. Statistics also show that 95 percent of injured children were found to be driving ATVs larger than recommended for their age.

"ATV riders should understand the substantial risks of serious or fatal injuries associated with riding ATVs," state Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher said in a news release.

"Parents should know that ATVs are difficult to operate, and children often do not have the cognitive and physical ability to drive these vehicles safely."

Public health officials are recommending that child under 6 never be allowed to ride an ATV and that children always wear helmets and goggles when riding ATVs.