September 15, 2009
For Immediate Release
Death of Central Texas woman illustrates ATV dangers
The death of an Oglesby, Texas woman last month underscores the dangers of so-called all terrain vehicle use.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety reports, Stephanie King, 33, was riding a 2000 Polaris ATV along a country road in Coryell County road when she tried to herd goats off the roadway. She turned sharply and the ATV rolled over, throwing her from the vehicle and onto the roadway. She was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Most of these ATVs aren’t that stable,” said Timothy Cappolino, partner in Cappolino Dodd Krebs, a Central Texas law firm familiar with rollover accidents involving ATVs. “Every year, more and more Texas families are devastated by needless, tragic deaths and injuries caused by ATVs.”
While the Yamaha Rhino has garnered the most negative press recently, all ATVs are inherently dangerous, Cappolino said, because they do not always meet safety guidelines, tip over easily and rarely have seatbelts.
Cappolino pointed to a recent report from the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CSPS) and noted that the number of ATV-related deaths and injuries are on the rise. According to that report, serious injuries requiring emergency room care increased from 146,000 in 2006 to 150,900 in 2007. Since 2001, the increase is statistically significant at 37 percent.
The estimated number of ATV-related fatalities was 948 in 2005 and 882 in 2006. The most recent findings for 2007 indicate that there have been 542 reports; however, this figure is expected to rise as more data are compiled.
No less than 107 children under 16 were killed on ATVs in 2007. “That’s 20 percent of all ATV fatalities,” said Cappolino. “There were 40,000 cases of serious injuries in the same age group in 2007, a 27 percent increase.”
Since 2001, there has been a statistically significant 17 percent increase in children under 16 who have been seriously injured on ATVs.
Cappolino said CSPS recently issued guidelines to help ATV riders protect themselves.
- Children and young people under the age of 16 should not ride adult ATVs.
- All ATV users should take a hands-on safety course.
- Always wear a helmet and safety gear such as boots and gloves while on an ATV.
- Never drive an ATV on paved roads.
- Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Never drive a youth or single-rider adult ATV with a passenger, and never ride these vehicles as a passenger.
- Passengers on tandem ATVs should be at least 12 years old.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Richard Stone, communications at email@example.com | 512-760-5748.