Both organizations also recognize ATV Safety Week, June 1-9
Editor’s Note: Physicians are available for interviews. Interviews available today, Wednesday, May 29, through Friday, June 1, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
With three tragic ATV-related deaths over the Memorial Day weekend, Safe Kids Midlands and Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Midlands want the community to know important facts about all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety.
Safe Kids Midlands Coordinator Mabry Gray is heartbroken when she learns of a preventable death, especially of a child. “Children are involved in about 30 percent of all ATV-related deaths and injuries,” she said.
ATVs are motorized off-road vehicles:
- Type 1 ATVs are to be used by a single operator and no passenger.
- Type 2 ATVs are intended to be used by an operator and a passenger.
- ATVs are not "one size fits all." The ATV industry recommends that all riders operate the size and type of ATV designed for their age group. Youth model ATVs are designed for smaller hands and feet, and travel at slower speeds appropriate for younger riders.
- Because ATVs require skill and quick thinking, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under 16―who are too young to have a driver's license―should not be allowed to operate or ride off-road vehicles.
South Carolina ATV Facts from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), Division of Biostatistics and Health GIS:
- On average, six children die from ATV-related injuries in South Carolina each year.
- Nearly 40% of children who died from ATV-related injuries were age nine and under.
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 450 children are injured each year in South Carolina on ATVs.
- Nationally, 95% of children killed on ATVs were riding adult-sized ATVs despite industry recommendations.
Incorrect ATV size causes many deaths, injuries:
- More than half of ATV deaths occur on public roadways.
- ATV rollovers, collisions and ejections can cause fatalities and serious injuries among children due to their lack of physical strength and motor coordination needed to safely handle an ATV, their limited maturity, and their ability to react quickly and appropriately in dangerous situations.
ATV training, protective gear important:
- It's important to choose the right size ATV, the right protective gear and receive the right training to protect children from ATV injuries or death. By participating in a hands-on ATV rider safety training, riders learn about protective gear, local regulations, places to ride, environmental concerns, pre-ride inspection, starting and stopping, quick turns, hill riding, emergency stopping and swerving and riding over obstacles.
In South Carolina, Chandler’s ATV Safety Requirements Law became effective July 1, 2011. Information from the law includes:
- Minimum age to operate an ATV is six years old
- Children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult if riding on public land
- New requirements for children under age 16:
- Must complete a hands-on ATV rider safety training course approved by the ATV Safety Institute before operating an ATV
- Must wear a safety helmet and eye protection
- May not ride an ATV in violation of the manufacturer Age Restriction Warning Label required by Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA)
- May not carry a passenger on an ATV without a valid driver's license
- The above requirements, although recommended, do not apply for ATVs in use for farming, ranching, hunting or trapping
- On private property, law enforcement officers must have probable cause based on plain view observation or when investigating an ATV accident to enter upon private land to charge a parent with a violation of law.
- ATVs can be registered with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles for purposes of receiving a title. A title makes it easier to prove you own an ATV if it is ever stolen.
- Additional information about the "Chandler's Law," hands-on ATV rider safety training courses, and Q & A for parents and children, visit ChandlersATVlaw.com.