Statistics on ATV accidents as well as the ATV accidents our office handles are devastating, especially when the ATV accident has jeopardized a child’s health and safety. Our attorneys depend on research performed by our office, along with research performed by government agencies, to provide accurate information to the general public.
That is why we are including the following report by Robin Ingles, which was published in December 2007 in the Washington Post. The report focuses on ATV accidents and the number of wrongful deaths and injuries resulting from them.
Read the following excerpt from Ms. Ingles’ Washington Post article, “Which Toys Are Okay? Don’t Ask the Safety Police.”
One of my first projects as a statistician in the Directorate for Epidemiology at CPSC was to generate statistics on injuries and deaths associated with all-terrain vehicles. I read hundreds of police reports and autopsies of children and adults who had died when their ATVs rolled onto them or when they crashed into trees because the vehicles were too big and powerful to control.
Each spring for five years, I sat at my desk behind stacks of fatality reports that rose higher than my head. One year I hung a wall map by my desk and put dots at the location of each death: red for children, yellow for adults. By my third year on the project, West Virginia was obliterated by the tiny dots. Eventually I realized that there were too many deaths to track on a map, and it was too depressing.
In the 1990s, the industry had been bound by strict regulatory agreements with CPSC, but they had expired in 1998. Since then, the deaths and injuries have skyrocketed: In 1999, an estimated 536 people died on ATVs. By 2004 that number had climbed to 767. If current trends continue, the number of ATV deaths will soon exceed 900. In 2005, U.S. emergency rooms treated an estimated 136,700 ATV-related injuries. Last year they treated even more. A quarter to a third of the dead and injured were children.
Industry representatives suggest that the increase in injuries and deaths is the result of higher sales, but CPSC’s own statistical research — what little of it the agency has released — shows that other factors are at work.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an ATV accident, order your FREE copy of The Ohio Accident Book to learn your rights.