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Kentucky ATV Fatalities Prompt Hazard Alert

April 25, 2019
Vehicles lack proper safety features and often are operated in isolated areas.

The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) has issued recommendations regarding all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety after discovered a disturbing trend in fatalities.

Between 1982 and 2016, the state recorded a total of 675 ATV-related deaths, or 19 per year on average. This trend led the state to rank 5th in the nation during the time span.

Vehicle weight, lack of safety features and the terrain on which they were operated contributed to the high fatality rate. 

Farmers and workers using ATVs in isolated areas to perform tasks could receive delayed or inadequate care if they are in an accident, the KIPRC stated.

The alert addresses the particular hazards associated with ATV operation and provides the following recommendations for prevention:

  • Always wear DOT-approved headgear and protective eyewear when operating an ATV that meet the specifications required by 601 KAR 14:010. Studies show that ATV riders who do not wear a helmet are more likely to receive significant injuries to the face, neck, and head, including traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • While ascending a steep hill, if the vehicle stalls or begins to slides backwards, apply the front brake, then the rear brake, turn off the ATV, and stand clear. If the vehicle is holding steady, apply the parking brake, chock the rear wheels, and seek assistance from others. Specialized equipment, such as a winch, may be necessary to safely move the ATV.
  • Avoid quick turns while operating an ATV on a hill. If an ATV begins to tip to the side while traveling on a hill, turns the wheels downhill in an attempt to re-stabilize the ATV. If a rollover becomes inevitable, attempt to jump clear towards the uphill side.
About the Author

Stefanie Valentic

Stefanie Valentic was formerly managing editor of EHS Today, and is currently editorial director of Waste360.

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