ATV Safety Summit: Consumer Awareness ATV Dealers/Teens - Information and Guidance Presented by ATV Dealers


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Dr. Charles Jennissen, of the University of Iowa Department of Emergency Medicine presented this at CPSC's ATV Safety Summit Oct. 11, 2012. The study objective was to determine the practice of ATV dealers and salespersons with respect to providing safety information since enactment of the 2009 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Methods: A "secret buyer" method was utilized to evaluate seller practices. Results: 50 dealerships from 4 states were studied. 35 subjects (70%) were willing to show and discuss selling an adult-sized ATV when told that the purchase was for a 12 year old. Seven (14%) responded that ATVs should not have extra riders when the investigator made statements about the adequacy of a seat being long enough for a child to give a sibling rides. Only one subject, when prompted, informed the investigator about the need for a 12 year old to complete ATV safety training to drive in a public ATV park. Conclusions: Most ATV sellers in this study failed to follow requirements regarding age recommendations or to provide other safety information. Those who did often voiced concerns about possible negative repercussions from violations. Dealership compliance would likely benefit from increased enforcement, training, and resources. However, a "don't ask, don't tell" relationship between seller and buyer was alluded to during the study. This practice would predictably limit the impact of regulation enforcement.

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ATV Safety Summit: Consumer Awareness ATV Dealers/Teens - Information and Guidance Presented by ATV Dealers

  1. 1. The Safety Information and GuidanceProvided to Parents by All-Terrain Vehicle Dealers and Sales Representatives Charles Jennissen, MD Department of Emergency Medicine University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Iowa City, Iowa, United States
  2. 2. Background 833 ATV-related deaths in the U.S. in 2006. US Consumer Product Safety Commission Since 1982, children under 16 years have comprised 25% of all ATV crash fatalities.
  3. 3. Background• More children <16 years in the U.S. die from ATVs each year than from bicycle crashes. Helmkamp JC, Aitken ME, Lawrence BA. ATV and bicycle deaths and associated costs in the United States, 2000-2005. Public Health Rep. 2009;124(3):409-418.
  4. 4. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) • Through the 10 year Consent Decrees and then voluntary Action Plans, the CPSC has been diligent in trying to get manufacturers and their dealerships to work actively in discouraging the use of adult- sized ATVs by children <16 years of age.
  5. 5. Children are ridingadult-sized ATVs. Age Recommendations <6 No ATV 6-11 70 cc or less 12-15 90 cc or less
  6. 6. Consumer Product SafetyImprovement Act (CPSIA) • In effect since April 2009 • Unlawful to import or distribute in the US a new ATV unless it is subject to an “Action Plan.” • Prescribe steps ATV distributors must take to ensure safety – Rider training – Distribution of safety information – Appropriate age recommendation. • The company shall not recommend, market, or sell new adult-sized ATVs for the use of persons less than 16 years old
  7. 7. Consumer Product SafetyImprovement Act (CPSIA) • Use vehicle maximum and restricted speed limitations for determining the age appropriateness of ATVs • Rather than size.
  8. 8. Consumer Product SafetyImprovement Act (CPSIA) Category Age Range Maximum Speed Maximum Speed (Restricted) (Unrestricted) Y-6+ Age 6 or older 10mph/16kph or Less 15mph/24kph Y-12+ Age 12 or older 15mph/24kph or Less 30mph/48kph
  9. 9. Consumer Product SafetyImprovement Act (CPSIA) Dealer Monitoring •Use their “best efforts” to obtain dealer compliance with the action plans, especially the age recommendation requirements. – On-site inspections – Conducted by independent, undercover investigators •Must take corrective action against non-complying dealers.
  10. 10. “Secret Buyer” StudyGoal  Determine the practices of ATV dealers and sales representatives with regards to promoting safe ATV use.
  11. 11. “Secret Buyer” Study  Project developed out of our local Safe Kids Coalition’s ATV Safety Task Force  Received IRB approval from Mercy Hospital Iowa City, lead organization for the local Safe Kids Coalition
  12. 12. “Secret Buyer” StudyMethod  Investigator posed as a customer interested in buying an adult-sized ATV for a 12 year old son.  Convenience sampling of 50 ATV dealerships from four U.S. states (Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin).  Used a script containing specific prompts
  13. 13. Right Size Machine *Previous manufacturer’s recommendation was children 12-15 years of age not drive ATV>90 cc. *Now recommend ATVs have a maximum restricted speed of 15mph/24kph or less, maximum speed of 30mph/48kph.
  14. 14. Right Size Machine• “I would like to buy an ATV for my 12 year old son…”• “That machine would be awesome for him… he he would just love it!” but occasionally…
  15. 15. Right Size Machine• The owner or manager would suddenly appear and take over the customer service!
  16. 16. Right Size Machine • Sometimes, a little coaxing was needed… Do you have any used ATVs… I would really like to use it to plow our long driveway too…
  17. 17. Right Size Machine• “I would like to buy an ATV for my 12 year old son…”• The “Raised Eyebrow”
  18. 18. Right Size Machine• On several occasions the owner was convinced I was from the CPSC or was an ATV manufacturer representative.• One had been given a fine by the manufacturer he represented, and the other had received a letter from the CPSC which he showed me.• I was able to gain the confidence of both of them and they proceeded to show me adult-sized machines.
  19. 19. No Rider Policy *Warning labels on traditional ATVs that passengers should not be allowed. *Iowa law prohibits passengers on both public and private land.
  20. 20. Recommended Training *Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota law all require youth to have a training certificate to operate ATVs on public lands.
  21. 21. Safety Gear• Hypothesis: Dealerships with larger selections of gear in stock, would be more likely to suggest buying safety equipment like helmets.• Results: No sales representative mentioned purchasing helmets or other gear.
  22. 22. Safety Posters• Most dealerships had many posters; almost all from ATV manufacturers – All of them had riders wearing helmets and no extra riders – No specific safety messages• Only two dealerships were noted to display safety posters – State ATV Regulations – ATV Task Force Poster
  23. 23. Conclusions ATV dealerships could be important partners in promoting safe ATV use; but, dealers and sales representatives are in the business of selling ATVs. It may be unrealistic to expect them to fully discuss the dangers and safety requirements of their product. Many ATV dealers and sales representatives are not following CPSIA requirements regarding age recommendation. Those that did in the study often voiced concerns about possible negative repercussions from violations. Dealership compliance with the regulations may continue to increase with on-going enforcement.
  24. 24. Conclusions However, a “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” relationship between seller and buyer was alluded to during the study in which sellers don’t ask and buyers don’t tell they are purchasing a larger machine for a child. This practice would limit the impact of regulation enforcement.
  25. 25. Questions?
  26. 26.