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CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- There have been a dozen ATV related fatalities so far this year in Indiana.
Three people were killed while riding ATVs this past weekend -- including two young children.
WDRB talked with experts about what they believe is causing so many accidents and the simple steps parents can take to protect their kids while riding ATVs.
Officials say several factors have been involved in recent crashes, including alcohol, speed and just plain bad judgment.
The most recent ATV accident in Indiana happened last weekend in Clay County. The 22-year-old driver was killed, along with two small children.
A third passenger, a male toddler, was airlifted to a hospital and is listed in serious condition.
Preliminary investigation indicates excessive speed and alcohol may have been factors.
In addition, all four were on a single seat four wheeler. What's left of the ATV is shown in the picture at right.
"The primary causes of accidents we see are speed, first and foremost, operator inexperience and then alcohol," said Indiana Conservation Officer Jim Hash.
Hash says it doesn't matter what type of ATV you're driving.
You should always wear protective gear.
"Get a helmet. Even if you're in a side by side or a passenger vehicle with a crash cage," said Hash.
At CC Powersports in Clarksville, Indiana, manager Derek Korte says no ATV leaves the sales floor until the customer has been given all safety information.
"Any time we sell an ATV we strive to make sure everyone is protected as much as possible and they follow the guidelines," said Korte.
Helmets are key but there's more gear recommended, especially for young riders.
"There's chest protectors, there's helmets, there's boots, protective eyewear," Korte told WDRB. "Pretty much any part of your body can be protected."
Korte says ATV safety features have come a long way over the years.
"Things used to be pretty bare bones and there wasn't much to-do over safety, but now there's separate keys to limit the power. There's throttle adjustments that parents can use on the youth ATVs to make sure the kids only go so fast," he said.
Whether you're using it for fun or work, officials recommend every rider follow the instructions listed on the ATV.
CC Powersports plans to host an ATV safety seminar this fall.