The Department of Natural Resources says 2016 marked the deadliest year on record in Indiana for All Terrain Vehicles, or ATVs. State officials are ramping up efforts to make this year safer.
The DNR says 21 people died in ATV accidents in 2016, up from 16 in 2015. Public Relations Capt. William Browne says the agency is making ATV safety one of its top four priorities in 2017.
Currently, no state law requires ATV riders to wear helmets. Regardless, Browne says he wants to see more dialogue.
“What we do know is that we still want to talk safety and make sure people are understanding the use of helmets is going to protect them and it’s going to lessen the serious nature of those accidents,” he says.
Browne says the number of young people getting hurt on ATVs concerns him, especially because most of these accidents are preventable.
“We’ve got enough knowledge base out here and the citizens do,” Browne says. “There’s no reason why these numbers are on the increase in my opinion.”
He hopes promoting safety will make a difference.
WATCH: Indiana mom pushes for ATV helmet law after tragic accident