ATVs In The News: MSNBC Talks Terror for the Summer Months

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Have you ever browsed your local powersports dealership and noticed that when compared to snowmobiles, motorcycles, buggies, karts and so on, nothing comes plastered with more warning labels than the ATVs? This is no coincidence as back in the 1980s when the media inspired lawyers to sue manufacturers directly for injuries sustained in ATV (mostly 3-wheeler at the time) accidents; many of which were direct result of rider negligence.

Part of the terribly one-sided agreement reached between the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the ATV manufacturers at the time, in addition to adding another front wheel to all ATVs sold in the US, was a slathering in safety warning labels on each and every machine produced. This tradition still carries on to present day.

This is important because once again ATVs find themselves painted in a fairly unflattering light in mainstream media, this time in the form of a recent MSNBC report. The report compiles various stories of ATV tragedy around the nation in attempt to remind of the risks associated with off-roading. While the piece begins by painting a fairly bleak picture, it does, in its defense, go on to state that “Some say it’s not the vehicles that are to blame, but the way people use them. There are numerous videos on YouTube to showing crazy behavior on ATVs.” -We can attest to this!

Additionally the article incorporates a few statistics such as the following: “ATVs are the fifth deadliest product that we oversee,” Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the CPSC, told TODAY. “Every year 700 people die (because of ATV related injuries).” If this statistic sounds frightening, do keep in mind that last year the flu was responsible for 53,692 deaths in the US.

The piece concludes with a bit of encouragement to suppress panic:

For its part, the ATV industry has mounted a campaign to improve the image of the recreational vehicles by emphasizing safe riding.

They list the “golden rules” of ATV riding, which include:

· Always wear a helmet
· Never ride on a public road
· Never ride with a passenger
· One size ATV does not fit all

While their efforts to reinforce warnings are certainly well intended, any real ATV rider should already be quite familiar with such words of caution; after all, they’re plastered all over our fenders!

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