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August 03, 2007

Summer Safety Alert for All-Terrain Vehicle Riders

Ap_atv_summer_safety_1 As families are off enjoying their summer vacations, the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute, along with major manufacturers and distributors of ATVs in the United States, would like to reinforce the importance of ATV safety.

There are more than seven million ATVs in use in the United States, being operated by more than 16 million Americans. This makes it essential that riders and non-riders alike understand the importance of the safe and responsible use of ATVs.

"For many, (this) is a time to explore the great outdoors," said Tim Buche, president of the ATV Safety Institute. "Millions of Americans will enjoy this (summer seson) from behind the handlebars of an ATV.

"The ATV industry urges all riders to follow the warning labels on the vehicle, and parents to supervise riders under the age of 16," said Buche. "All riders should wear a helmet and other protective gear, not ride on paved roads, not ride under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, and not carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV."

Atv_summer_safety Summer offers children more free time to enjoy many activities, including riding ATVs. Children under the age of 16 must be supervised at all times when operating a youth-sized ATV. Parental supervision is crucial to preventing injuries - parents literally hold the key to their child's safety. Every ATV has an ignition key, and when a parent or guardian controls that key, they control the use of the ATV.

Nearly 90 percent of youth ATV-related injury incidents occur when a youth is operating an ATV manufactured and intended for use by an adult. Every child under the age of 16 should be actively supervised and never be allowed to ride an ATV that is not appropriate for their age.

Consumer Product Safety Commission data show that 92 percent of all ATV-related fatalities are the result of warned-against behaviors. The ATV Safety Institute has eight Golden Rules of ATV safety that address these behaviors and apply to all riders:

1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
2. Never ride on public roads - another vehicle could hit you.
3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle.
5. Ride an ATV that's right for your age.
6. Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
8. Take an ATV RiderCourse; call toll-free at 800-887-2887, or go to www.atvsafety.org.

The ATV Safety Institute encourages families to talk about the household rules for ATV riding so they may prepare for a safe, fun summer. For more information about ATV safety or to enroll in the ATV RiderCourse nearest you, visit www.atvsafety.org or call 800-887-2887.

About the Institute
The All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute is a not-for-profit division of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America and was formed in 1988 to implement an expanded national program of all-terrain vehicle safety education and awareness. The ASI's primary goal is to promote the safe and responsible use of ATVs, thereby reducing accidents and injuries that may result from improper ATV operation by the rider. For safety information or to enroll in the ATV RiderCourse nearest you, visit www.atvsafety.org and click on "Online Enrollment" or call 800-887-2887.

By Brandy Schaffels
Contributing Editor

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