Despite several legislative attempts to correct the matter, Oklahoma remains way behind the curve when it comes to all-terrain vehicle safety. The number of people killed on ATVs has doubled since 2000. Six of the 18 deaths so far this year have been 18 years of age or younger.

The Tulsa World reports Oklahoma is one of only a handful of states that has no safety requirements for ATV riders. The only hard rules are that they are not allowed on paved roads and children can't drive the large models.

Twenty-five states have comprehensive laws requiring safety courses, helmets and limiting the size of ATVs young riders can use.

The ATV industry says there are more deaths and injuries because more people are buying them. Sales have increase five-fold since 1993.

A Tulsa emergency room physician calls the injuries and deaths an "epidemic." He said teens are safer driving a car than an ATV since cars offer some protection in a crash. A study Dr. Mark Brandenburg authored last year found that 45 percent of those who died from ATV accidents in Oklahoma were under 16.

Some lawmakers say the issue is a rural versus urban one with farm families using ATVs in their fields like the horses of old. Think of helmets and goggles as a modern version of chaps and boots. Even cowboys knew to wear those.

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