All terrain vehicles, ATVs, are almost as ubiquitous to rural America as pickup trucks. It’s rare to visit a farm or ranch that does not have one or more of these utilitarian vehicles under the shed.

It’s easy to understand why. They are work horses, taking on chores from hauling parts to far reaches of the field, crossing the rugged terrain of rangeland to find lost cattle or to bring a big buck out of the woods on opening day.

They can also be dangerous.

If you are enjoying reading this article, please check out Southwest Farm Press Daily and receive the latest news right to your inbox.

Farm Press staff member Hembree Brandon explains in his blog that, based on numbers collected from 2008 through 2011, California leads the nation in ATV deaths at 504. Texas is a close second with 478.

For the years the Consumer Product Safety Commission has kept statistics on ATV-related fatalities, 1982 through 2011, there were 11,688 deaths in the U.S. That’s more than three times the number killed in the World Trade Center destruction on 9/11, the equivalent of 25 jumbo jet crashes in which everyone died.

Read Hembree’s important report: are you keeping your kids safe.

Also of interest on Southwest Farm Press:

Injury prevention: Consider personal safety when working with livestoc…

Heat stress hits quickly, may be deadly

Holiday accidents are real season spoilers, safety urged