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Tipping Point for ATVs?

The number of deaths and injuries from all-terrain vehicle accidents -- many of them involving children -- has climbed to new highs.

A new report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said that during 2002 there were 113,900 ATV-involved injuries that required emergency room treatment -- a record.

The same was true for deaths, with at least 634 in 2001, the latest year for which figures are available. In 2000, 569 people were killed in ATV accidents, and in 2001 110,100 were injured.

“The continuous growth of ATV injuries and fatalities demonstrates how pervasive this public health crisis is and why it is time for a new approach to ATV safety,” said Rachel Weintraub of the Consumer Federation of America. The new data follow an August report critical of the ATV industry’s voluntary approach to safety.

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According to the most recent figures, 37,100 children younger than 16 required emergency room treatment last year because of ATV accidents.

-- J. Michael Kennedy


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