Nightly News   |  July 08, 2012

Every year, hundreds die in ATV accidents

Every year, 700 people die in accidents related to all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs. Another 136,000 people head to the emergency room with injuries. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back now with safety concerns involving a growing family sport. riding those all terrain vehicles or atvs . turns out june and july are the peak months for injuries and deaths associated with them.

>> reporter: 14-year-old james was five hours away with a friend's family when caroline anderson got the phone call , there had been a terrible accident involving an atv and james was unconscious. the andersons didn't know james was riding an atv that weighed 700 pounds. i asked him is my son still alive. he said no. i'm sorry. we did everything we could.

>> reporter: the kid who loved baseball, fishing and played the saxophone died before his parents could get to the hospital. in 2010 at least 55 kids younger than 16 were killed in atv accidents. more than 28,000 were seriously injured leading the american academy of pediatrics to warn simply put atvs are dangerous to children and the risks are not limited to kids.

>> every year 700 opeople die and 136,000 go to the emergency rooms because of atv related injuries.

>> reporter: a lot of that has to do with bad behavior with plenty of examples on youtube. it's why the atv industry has put great emphasis on safety. now in classes across the country industry instructors are stressing the golden rules like always wear a helmet, never ride on a public road . never ride with a passenger and one size atv does not fit all. that's especially important with kids. this yellow atv is not supposed to be ridden by anybody under the age of 14. this bigger blue one not supposed to be ridden by anyone under the age of 16. they need to be on one designed for their abilities.

>> reporter: atvs have never been more popular. 11 million are now in use. a growing family sport but with risks.