LOUISVILLE, KY -- At least 30 people have been killed, including a 5-year-old Northern Kentucky girl and a 26-year-old Eastern Kentucky man who died yesterday, in what appears to be rising numbers of ATV deaths, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal in its Saturday edition.
That figure is nine more than in 2006, and more than twice the number of deaths just five years ago.
The numbers mean Kentucky likely will continue to lead the nation in fatal ATV wrecks, as tracked by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, reports the newspaper.
"It's because the public doesn't perceive the killing power of the machine," said Dr. Andrew Bernard, a trauma surgeon at the University of Kentucky. "Appreciate the fact that the machine can hurt or kill you and do everything you can to keep it safe."
In Indiana, there had been at least 64 injuries from ATV accidents, but only two deaths as of June 11, the most recent figures the state could supply because of changes in its computer system. In 2006, there were 247 injuries and eight deaths, the Courier-Journal reports.
All the Kentucky ATV drivers involved in the fatal accidents this year ignored at least one of the safety guidelines taught in training courses and listed on stickers voluntarily placed on the machines by manufacturers, an analysis by The Courier-Journal found.
The violations include riding without helmets, riding with passengers, riding on public roads, riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs, riding at excessive speeds, and children riding adult-sized ATVs.
Some of the wrecks involved clear violations of the safety guidelines, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Copyright: The Louisville Courier-Journal