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Adults and children alike have enjoyed the use of ATV off-road vehicle in Michigan. However, a new study completed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has revealed that more than 500 people nationwide died in ATV accidents in 2006. Children 16 and younger accounted for 20% of ATV related fatalities. Michigan ranked fifth in the number of ATV related fatalities from 2003-2006 with 67 reported deaths.

Because so many children in Michigan have access to an ATV off-road vehicle, there is an increased need for children to be educated more on ATV safety. Most of the deaths and injuries to children are the result of youngsters riding adult-size ATVs, and consumer groups say the CPSC needs to keep kids off ATVs that are too big and too powerful for them. Michigan ATV regulations require children under the age of 16 to acquire a safety training certificate and be under the direct supervision of an adult.

The CPSC also reported a staggering 146,600 ATV related emergency room reported injuries in 2006, with children under 16 accounting for 27% of those injuries. Also, the CPSC just announced an ATV recall of about 95,000 Polaris ATVs because they can have defective control panels that could catch on fire.

A recent article in the Lansing State Journal reported that under a voluntary agreement between the industry and the commission, major ATV distributors require dealers not to sell adult-size ATVs to people who might allow children to ride them. But consumer groups say few dealers abide by the rule. Hopefully Michigan ATV dealers are more responsible due to the increased use of ATVs throughout the state.

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