ATV Injuries On the Rise across Arkansas and Nation

NOVEMBER 22, 2004 - Posted at 7:30 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The number of injuries in all-terrain accidents are rising, especially among children.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says ATV injuries that require emergency room treatment climbed 116 percent nationwide, from 54,700 in 1997 to 118,000 in 2003.  Almost a third of those treated were children.

Doctors and consumer advocates say voluntary guidelines are failing to keep children off ATVs, and they are calling for a federal age limit of 16 and mandatory training for all buyers.

The restrictions would fall heaviest on Arkansas and the rest of the South, where ATVs are popular.  Last year, Arkansans purchased 18,068 new ATVs and the annual numbers are rising.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)