In the United States, most ATVs deaths occur in Texas, California, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York State; historically, ATV accidents kill or injure children and adults, and occur predominately on paved surfaces. Between 2001 and 2008, an average number of 145 children and nearly 570 adults died each year in ATV accidents, according to researchers at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Although more adults die annually than children, children aged 16 and younger account for nearly one quarter of all ATV fatalities.
The use of ATVs dates back to the early 1970s, when they were introduced as work vehicles, primarily for farmers. Since the 1980s, their popularity has increased exponentially, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. As of 2015, people ride ATVs for recreational pleasure in addition to work, with most accidents occurring with leisurely use. Physicians at the AAOS note that most ATV accidents affect white men between the ages of 18 and 30 who live in rural areas. They attribute a steady rise in fatalities and injuries to increased power and size of ATVs and lack of safety training.
Between 2005 and 2008, most ATV accidents took place between the months of May and September with peaks between July and August. According to data from the CPSC, the number of fatalities peaked in 2006 and 2007, at 690 and 695, respectively. Experts note that although all U.S. states have ATV legislation, only 31 require the use of helmets and 38 have laws setting minimum ages for riders.