ATV riders urged to practice safety over deadly holiday weekend

Trying to prevent deadly holiday weekend for ATV riders
Trying to prevent deadly holiday weekend for ATV riders

A federal consumer agency is warning All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) riders to take precautions this Memorial Day weekend, traditionally one of the deadliest of the year.

For the four-day period surrounding the 2009 Memorial Day holiday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 27 ATV riders lost their lives, including two under the age of 16. That's an average of almost seven deaths a day.

As the ATV season kicks into gear, the death toll has already begun to climb. For the month of April, CPSC staff compiled media reports of at least 40 fatalities, including 12 involving children under the age of 16.

CPSC data indicates ATV-related deaths tend to jump an average of 30% from March to April for children under 16. Adult deaths increase 88% on average for the same period. During 2003-2005, ATV-related deaths rose each month during the spring and into the summer, peaking in July, when 23 children and 76 adults were killed in ATV-related incidents on average.