Study: More kids die on ATVs than bikes


The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Children under the age of 16 are seven times more likely to ride bicycles than all-terrain vehicles, yet ATVs cause more deaths among youngsters than their peddling counterparts, according to a new study.

Jim Helmkamp, who tracks ATV statistics as director of West Virginia University's Injury Control Research Center, found that on average, 171 children died each year across the country in ATV accidents between 2000 and 2004, compared to 157 deaths from bicycle crashes.

Statistics from the National Sporting Goods Association estimate 14.2 million children ages 7-17 ride bicycles in the United States while the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says there are about 2.2 million ATV riders under the age of 16.

The study was commissioned by the Concerned Families for ATV Safety, an organization founded in 2005 by parents who lost children in ATV accidents.

One of the founders, Carolyn Anderson of Brockton, Mass., said that for years, the ATV industry and Consumer Product Safety Commission have claimed ATVs and bicycles are comparable when they are not.

"They (industry) say ATVs aren't any more dangerous than a bicycle but we just wanted to put that to rest, for one, and to show that there is a significant problem and it's costing everybody," Anderson said.

Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said some people have made the comparison, but the commission does not.

"We share the same commitment as concerned parents for ATVs to reduce the number of deaths and injuries," Wolfson said.

The commission estimates there are 7.6 million four-wheel ATVs in use in the United States. Details: http://www.atvsafetynet.org/.

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