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Many Ohio vehicle accidents include ATV mishaps

"Remember, trees don't move."

That is less advice than it is something to simply keep firmly in mind for the driver of any motorized vehicle. In car accidents, drivers almost always lose when an immobile object is involved.

And if that is true for vehicles offering enclosure protection, it is even more the case for motorcyclists, bicycle riders and, as Ohio safety regulators point out, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) operators.

ATVs are flatly a concern in Ohio, as they are in virtually all other states. Part of their inherent safety problem is that they seem deceptively simple and easy to handle, while that is anything but the case. Moreover, an ATV driver in Ohio does not need a license, and even a 14-year-old can drive one on a highway.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) keeps statistics on ATV crashes, and it states that 279 ATV-related fatalities occurred in Ohio over a recent 25-year period. Eighty of those who died were children.

And that figure might be understated, given that the methodology for reporting ATV accidents is variable throughout the state. One law enforcement official says that staying accurate is virtually impossible, given that many accidents occur on private property. Additionally, some enforcement agencies fail to distinguish ATV crashes from other motorized crashes, simply lumping them together.

The CPSC states that many hundreds of ATV riders die yearly in accidents occurring across the country, with about 100,000 persons being injured.

Ohio safety experts counsel novice operators to ride less powerful ATVs and to thoroughly know the terrain they plan on traversing before they head out to explore it.

Source: Toledo Blade, "Every year, ATV crashes in U.S. affect thousands," Federico Martinez, May 12, 2013

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