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Ohio ATV News: ATV Manufacturer Warnings Fail To Protect Children From ATV Injuries And Fatalities
Last year, a study was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition finding that the warning labels ATV manufacturers include on new equipment are not effective at preventing children under the age of 16 from driving ATVs. The study also found that most children under the age of 16 consider safety courses unnecessary and that those courses offered by ATV dealerships are offered regularly.
Ohio Child ATV Safety Measures
The study “Pediatric ATV Injuries and Manufacturer Warnings are Not Enough to Change Behavior,” conducted by Rebeccah L. Brown, MD, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, found that ATV users under the age of 16 account for nearly 40 percent of all ATV accident injuries and deaths in the United States, even though manufacturer warning stipulate that the vehicles are not to be driven by children under the age 16. However, Brown found that in 82 percent of the child ATV injury and death cases studied, children were driving the ATV when they crashed, 79.5 percent of whom had permission to ride. 63 percent of those injured had adult supervision when the crash occurred, yet none had formal ATV safety training and only two of the participants had informal training from the ATV dealership.
In Ohio, child ATV safety courses are not legally required, though the state does restrict underage children to riding ATVs only on private land or while accompanied by an adult. According to Ohio law, ATV drivers must have a motorcycle endorsement or driver’s license to ride on public lands, and everyone who rides an ATV on public lands must wear a helmet, no matter their age.
While statistics are less then dependable when it comes to Ohio child ATV accidents, injuries, and fatalities, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 80 Ohio children have died in ATV accident from 1982 to 2007. Because of reporting issues, it is unknown just how many children have been injured in ATV accidents during the same time frame.
According to Dr. Brown, children under the age of 16 are at a higher risk of injury or death from ATVs because at that age children “simply do not have the physical strength, cognitive skills, maturity or judgment to safely operate ATVs,” Science Daily reports. Brown says children under the age of 16 should not be driving ATVs, and that “Mandatory safety courses and licensing, and enforceable helmet legislation, are needed to reduce ATV use by children.” (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121022080641.htm)
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