June 4, 2003
ATV Injuries Double in 5-Year Period,
Deaths Continue To Climb
35 Witnesses Set to Testify at
CPSC Regional ATV Safety Hearing in West Virginia
-The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that 35 witnesses have
registered to testify about all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety at the
commission's regional public hearing to be held in Morgantown, W.Va., on
June 5, 2003. Estimated ATV-related injuries in the U.S. have doubled in a
recent 5-year period and deaths also continue to climb.
The 35 witnesses include medical doctors, injury prevention researchers, ATV
dealers, ATV riders, consumer safety advocates, and families of victims from
"The diversity of views is exactly what we want to hear at the ATV safety
hearing," said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "We are concerned about the
disproportionate increase in the number of deaths and injuries associated
with ATV use in recent years, and we hope the hearing will help us
understand the causes of these deaths and injuries."
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
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 35 witnesses who will testify at the June 5 hearing come from West
Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Idaho, New Hampshire, California,
Montana, and South Carolina.
"West Virginia and Pennsylvania ranked in the top six states for ATV-related
deaths between 1982 and 2001," Stratton said, "so it makes sense to hold a
hearing in that area." (Pennsylvania and West Virginia recorded 264 and 194
deaths, respectively, in that period. Ohio recorded 124 deaths and Maryland
"The field hearing gives local people a voice and an opportunity to
participate when they otherwise might not have been able if we limited our
hearings to Washington D.C.," Stratton said.
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. The commission sought
written public comments on the petition from October 2002 through March 16,
2003. The West Virginia hearing will provide an additional opportunity for
the public to express its views about this petition.
The hearing is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences
Center, West Virginia University Health Sciences Campus, in Morgantown.