Brooklyn Consumer Federation
OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLES: As July 4th Approaches, Consumer Federation of America Urges Caution For OHV Riders. Fourth of July Remains Most Dangerous Day for OHV Fatalities June 27, 2023 | Press Release
Washington, D.C – As summer begins, Consumer Federation of America (CFA) reiterates its yearly alert to off-highway-vehicle (OHV) riders to operate their vehicles with caution. So far in 2023 CFA has documented 201 OHV fatalities, with children under the age of 16 accounting for the most tracked fatalities at approximately 23%.Children under the age of 16 have ranked in the top three age categories of tracked OHV fatalities since 2019. For the past six years, children aged five and under have also accounted for an increasing number of OHV fatalities, growing from five in 2018 to 12 in 2022. So far in 2023, CFA has tracked five fatalities for this age group.
“Year after year, CFA has seen that more children die in OHV-related incidents on July 4 than any other day of the year,” said Courtney Griffin, CFA’s Director of Consumer Product Safety. “We urge all OHV riders to prioritize safety, use proper safety equipment and restraints, never operate on roads, never permit children to operate adult-sized OHV, and never carry more passengers on an OHV than it is designed to carry.”
According to data gathered by CFA and its OHV Safety Coalition, OHV fatalities disproportionally occur during summer months and often spike in July. From 2013 through 2022, CFA and the OHV Safety Coalition have documented 793 total deaths during the month of July.
CFA data from 2013 through 2022 show that the most fatalities for all people, (children and adults) occurred on July 4. Of the total 70 recorded deaths on July 4th occurring from 2013 through 2022, 17 were children under the age of 16, comprising nearly one quarter of all deaths (24.3%).
“All OHVs, even youth models, pose risks,” said Dr. Gary Smith, President of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance. “OHVs are fast, complex machines, and due to their design, they roll over easily. One wrong choice could lead to the emergency department or worse. Children younger than 16 years just aren’t ready for the demands of safe riding, so we encourage parents to find a different activity for their child.”
CFA has been working to minimize deaths and injuries from OHVs for decades by petitioning the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to ban adult-size ATVs for children, convening a coalition to prevent OHV road access, compiling fatality information in real time with that coalition, and urging the CPSC to collect annual Recreational Off Highway vehicle (ROV) data among other requests to take steps to reduce OHV deaths and injuries. Just this week, the CPSC voted to make it unlawful for EGL Motors to import or distribute its ATVs in the United States after the company repeatedly failed to comply with federal legal requirements, including failing to ensure ATVs that obtain speeds permitted only for adults are not marketed and sold to youth-aged riders.
CFA urges consumers to take the following seven critical steps to reduce OHV deaths and injuries:
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