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Knowing safety guidelines can help avoid ATV deaths and injuries


According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 555 people were killed as a result of riding all-terrain vehicles in 2006. About 146,600 people were seriously injured on ATVs the same year.

“ATVs are growing in popularity; unfortunately, this is also resulting in more crashes, injuries and deaths,” said Jimmy Maass, safety coordinator for Virginia Farm Bureau.

An ATV is considered a rider-active vehicle, which means the operator uses his or her body weight to shift and balance when turning, negotiating hills and crossing obstacles. A majority of ATVs have 250 and 300 cubic centimeter engines and are capable of reaching highway speeds.

CPSC data show that 92 percent of all ATV-related fatalities are the result of warned-against behaviors. The ATV Safety Institute has eight guidelines that address those behaviors and apply to all riders:
• Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
• Never ride on public roads with other vehicles.
• Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
• Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle.
• Ride an ATV that is age-appropriate. The guidelines are:
Age 6 and older: Under 70cc
Age 12 and older: 70cc to 90cc
Age 16 and older: Over 90cc
• Supervise riders younger than 16.
• Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
• Take an ATV rider training course.

For ATV safety tips and information on how to locate an available rider training course, visit the ATV Safety Institute’s Web site at or call 800-887-2887.

About Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Services
Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance is committed to providing products that best meet the insurance needs of Virginia’s families and small businesses. An organization with more than 148,000 members, served by more than 100 county offices throughout the Commonwealth, Farm Bureau Insurance also offers a wide range of financial planning products and services. Visit Virginia Farm Bureau at


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