Since their introduction to the public four years ago, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) have become increasingly common. While riding because of the amount of danger, one feels they are appealing to riders. This danger, however, shouldn't be taken lightly. ATVs carry with them a number of security issues. Despite the effort of ATV companies to make these vehicles safer, accidents are still occurring on an all-too-regular basis.
ATVs came as both 3-wheelers and 4-wheelers. It did not take long for the industry and the public to realize the risk of this 3-wheeler. With no center of gravity, the 3-wheeler was. It was widely assumed that once ATV companies eliminated the 3-wheeler in the current market, accidents would sharply decrease. While there was a drop in the number of deaths and injuries due to ATVs, enough has happened that the vehicle's security is a legitimate concern within the business. For instance, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) revealed that in 2004 alone, there were an estimated 136,000 serious injuries in the United States that were directly associated with ATVs. The preceding calendar year, 2003, saw 740 people lose their lives due to ATV accidents.
The troubling part of this number of deaths and injuries attributed to ATVs is the business, and the CPSC recently agreed on a set of action plans designed to improve ATV safety. These action plans represent an agreement between the ATV industry and the CPSC to crack down on issues that impact the security level of ATVs. Some of the things that are now required of businesses that sell ATVs are the tagging and safe marketing of ATVs. Additionally, the CPSC has been given more say as to what ages may trip certain types of ATVs. The problem, however, is that a high number of companies that manufacture and distribute ATVs are located in Asia and Italy. Because of their international status, they are not required to abide by the laws of the CPSC. In other words, many of the companies that are making ATVs are exempt from any oversight by the U.S. government.
Due to the CPSC's inability to control the security guidelines concerning the ATV industry, the focus has shifted to express control. Many states have recently enacted legislation that specifically governs the usage of ATVs on state-run land. Some of the factors that states deal with are the ages of riders and the type. Several states mandate the use of machines greater than 90cc by riders under the age of 16 is prohibited.
People who criticize these blanket policies concerning riders' ages claim that the situation is not adequately addressed by these rules. For example, critics claim that lots of early teen men are bigger and sometimes stronger than adult females that are fully-grown. To protect themselves from this line of thinking, some nations are simply forbidding any minors (those under the age of 16) from driving ATVs. Advocates of ATVs, however, assert that training riders at old age only stands to improve safety. They argue that children exposed to ATVs at a young age will gradually gain the experience necessary to be safe drivers of ATVs when they reach adulthood.
In 1988, the All-terrain Vehicle Safety Institute (ASI) was formed. This organization seeks to address ATV safety issues by providing training and instruction for ATV riders. Most states now require that users of ATVs undergo this sort of training. This is yet another in a series of attempts by the business and the CPSC to enhance the safety of ATVs. The need to provide education in ATV riding and driving increases as the sport's popularity keeps growing.
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