Kentucky Leads Nation In ATV Deaths

ATV crashes can cause serious injuries; many of them prove to be fatal.

“(They) received a chest or neck injury when the ATV crushed them,” says Pulaski County Coroner Richard New.

“A lot of injuries come from the handlebar,” he adds. “Very dangerous when you start using the ATV for what it's not intended for.”

New has seen plenty of people die on ATV's. “Most of the accidents have been either on a straight incline or rollover to the side,” he says.

In seven years, Kentucky State Police say 131 people have died on ATV’s. Three of them were in Pulaski County, where Tyler Pierce has been riding since he was 6.

“It's just fun to get out and be able to go where you want to,” says Pierce.

But Pierce agrees his dearly beloved machine can be deadly. He says use, “Common sense. You don't go to too fast. Don't try to jump things or do anything that can get you hurt.”

This advice also comes from the coroner, who doesn't want to see any more of what he's already seen too much of. “Trying to see how fast it will go or how fast up a hill you can climb; things of that nature; they can become a very dangerous vehicle.”

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  • by David Location: Breathitt Co. on Jul 7, 2007 at 09:28 AM
    How many more children have to be maimed or killed on these things before something is done. I feel adults should have the right to decide for themselves to ride or not if they obey the laws. However any parent who allows a child to operate or even ride as a passenger on one of those things should be locked up for child endangerment.
  • by Chris Location: Louisville on Jun 5, 2007 at 12:05 AM
    I think KY. should do like they do in the western states, if you own or ride an ATV you are required to lic. and pay fees just like you do on a car at which time you are required to take a safety course and make sure the size of the machine matches the rider and skill level. These states uses the money made from the fees to pay for the police to enforce the ATV laws and maintain riding area's, the police themselves ride ATVs and patrol areas that are used for riding making sure people are riding in a safe manor and if not they get fined or loose their riding privileges. I love riding ATVs and even race them but you must respect them just like you do motorcycles, cars, guns etc... I have been riding myself and seen people drinking alcohol, riding double, taking chances on hills or riding to fast when they have no idea on how to even handle the machine and kids riding to large an ATV for their size and the list goes on and on, it gives those of us who do ride them correctly and safely a bad name.
  • by Sublimity Springs Location: London on Jun 4, 2007 at 11:14 AM
    There are children riding these all over our subdivision. You tell them not to get on your property and their parents get mad!! No helmets, flying on the road where cars are suppose to drive. These kids ride at unsafe speeds.
  • by Jeffrey Location: Richmond on Jun 4, 2007 at 04:22 AM
    Sharon from Eastern Kentucky..I have to disagree with one of your comments. You said ***children need to be taught to ride responsibly and should be taught just how dangerous this type of vehicle is*** Children SHOULD NOT be operating this or any type of vehicle...period. If I remember right, the law was changed to where ATVs were only supposed to be operated by a licensed driver, which would mean 16 years old. Yes, that is still a child in parents eyes and I'm not sure that was the "children" you were referring to. I'm hoping your teenage daughters are of legal age to operate these vehicles; if not, they and you are breaking the law. Read the stickers that are on these ATVs; they aren't there just for looks.
  • by Sheena Location: Virginia Beach, VA on Jun 3, 2007 at 04:55 PM
    I grew up in Mercer County. Joined the military, and I am now retired. I still consider myself "country" through and through. Although I no longer live in Kentucky, I'm still amazed to read how some people call themselves hillibiles and rednecks. I consider these names an insult. Not just to those who have died on ATV's, but to anyone. Just because we're "country" doesn't make us rednecks. If there ever is a helmet law, it STILL must be enforced by the parents. A parent must be the example for their child. Anyone getting on any type of motor vehicle (ATV, Waverunner, motorcycle) not wearing a helmet (in my opinion) is just taking a chance on their life. My prayers are being said for those who do not wear helmets.
  • by Gloria Location: KY on Jun 3, 2007 at 04:11 PM
    My husband and I lost our son in MI , he was 34 yrs old and driving too fast on one of those atv's , he was racing with his boy's. It will soon be a yr. that we lost him. So PLEASE everyone drive safe and be careful. We miss him very much and he lefted behind 2 great young boy's our grandson's. Those ATV's should be outlawed.
  • by Ada Location: Richmond on Jun 3, 2007 at 09:38 AM
    When you tell someone who rides a ATV about someone wrecking "they say it want happen to me".They are dangerous and people needs to think straight when they get on one.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2007 at 07:50 AM
    People should wear helmets....
  • by Sharon Location: Eastern Kentucky on Jun 3, 2007 at 12:05 AM
    I think all children under the age of 16 should wear helmets. I have 2 teenage daughters, both ride ATVs and both have always been taught to wear helmets and to ride responsibly. It is a terrible tragedy when anyone young or old is killed while riding ATVs especially younger children. My prayers go out to the family that just recently lost a little girl. I'm sorry but everyone that lives in Eastern Kentucky is not a redneck and all Kentuckians are equal no matter where they live. ATVs are dangerous just as a motorcycle and an automobile are, children need to be taught to ride responsibly and should be taught just how dangerous this type of vehicle is. All schools should have training classes, have someone that has been in an accident with an ATV to come speak with them, and hopefully they will learn something from it. After all first and foremost our main concern should be for the safety of our children whether they are living in Western, Central, or Eastern Kentucky. I thought all Kentuckians were hillbillies not rednecks.
  • by Bob Location: Lexington on Jun 2, 2007 at 09:32 PM
    Mike from Lexington, not everyone is a so called redneck as you say. Many that have been injured or killed have been from the bigger cities. I feel you calling someone a redneck is a very poor choice of words and disgraces the names of those who have been killed.
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