According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), an all-terrain vehicle or ATV is a "vehicle that travels on low pressure tires, with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars for steering control." The ATV is operated like a normal motorcycle that runs on a slower speed although it looks quite different from it. They are bigger and usually have three or four wheels which make it sturdier.
It first came out during the early 1970's and was designed to be effective on various kinds of land and environment compared to normal vehicles. Due to its popularity and usefulness, some countries made ATVs street-legal, but others, like many states in the US, did not follow the trend. Still, a large number of ranch owners and farmers use it to manage their property. The ATV was initially intended for single-operator use only. Later, vehicle manufacturing companies started developing ATVs for operator and one passenger, which is referred to as tandem ATVs.
Despite the obvious efficiency and popularity of the vehicle, a lot of safety issues regarding it were reported. According to a study from The Journal of Trauma, the number of ATV users injured, who are both children and adolescents, made it clear that "ATVs are as dangerous as motorcycles based on mortality and injury count." The estimated number of deaths in 2007 according to CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) was 699 for all ages, 18 percent of whom are children under the age of 16. A big factor behind the accidents is people forgetting to take safety precautions.
However, the riders' negligence is not the only reason for ATV accidents. From the 1990's up to the present, a lot of ATV models have been recalled for possible flaws and defects that may lead to injuries. Some of the recent recalls made are:
Â· Year 2007 Honda TRX 500 (Loss of speed control)
Â· Year 2006 Honda TRX450ER/R (Crash hazard)
Â· Kawasaki KFX450R (Flange defect that may cause fire)
Â· Kawasaki 2007 KFX50 and KFX90 (Loose handlebar holder, tie-rod adjustment, and tie-rod end nuts that may cause crash)
Â· Suzuki 2007 Model QuadSport Z90 (Possible breakage of bushing pivot mount boss on the left and right suspension arm)
Â· Yamaha Bruin 250, Bruin 350 4WD and 2WD, Big Bear 400, Kodiak 400, Kodiak 450, and Wolverine 450 (Possible crash due to the pinching of protective boots that are covering the steering system's tie-rod ends)
More information about ATV recalls and accidents is readily available anywhere, even on the web. It is important to update yourself and other people about this to avoid being a victim of this vehicular defect.