The Consumer Product Safety Commission said yesterday that there has been a dramatic upsurge in accidents, injuries and deaths related to the increased use of the motorized three-wheeled bicycles known as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

"Injuries resulting from all-terrain-vehicles accidents climbed from about 3,000 in 1979 to more than 27,000 last year, and we know of at least 44 deaths related to such accidents in 1982 and 1983," said Nancy Harvey Steorts, the commission's chairman.

An estimated 53,000 injuries have been caused by the motorized bicycles through the first nine months of this year, the commission reported at a meeting with representatives of the ATV industry.

Approximately two-thirds of the victims of ATV-related accidents were between the ages of 5 and 24. That age group represented slightly more than one-third of the U.S. population in 1980, the CPSC said.

The hazards of the motorized bicycles include flipping, losing power and rolling over. Product failures such as broken brake handles and broken rear axle mounts also were cited. The CPSC said the hospitalization rate for victims of ATV accidents is twice the rate for minibikes and trailbikes and considerably greater than that for snowmobiles.

Most ATV accidents occur when a wheel strikes an object or the terrain suddenly changes -- primarily when the driver is speeding, said Nick Marchica, CPSC program manager for product safety assessment. The driver then loses control and is thrown from the bicycle, he said.

"Education, we believe, is the key to reducing accidents on ATVs," Edward Glynn of American Honda Co. told the CPSC. "We feel most accidents result from riders not following safety instructions," he added.

ATVs were introduced in the early 1970s, but 56 percent of all sales occurred in the last two years. The ATV industry was dominated by one company, Honda, until 1980, when Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki introduced ATVs.

The CPSC argued, however, that driver controls are not standardized and that the location of the rear wheels might allow a rider's foot to be caught under a wheel if the rider put a foot down on the ground while the ATV was moving. Three-Wheel Motorbike Accidents Up By Sari Horwitz Washington Post Staff Writer

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said yesterday that there has been a dramatic upsurge in accidents, injuries and deaths related to the increased use of the motorized three-wheeled bicycles known as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

"Injuries resulting from all-terrain-vehicles accidents climbed from about 3,000 in 1979 to more than 27,000 last year, and we know of at least 44 deaths related to such accidents in 1982 and 1983," said Nancy Harvey Steorts, the commission's chairman.

An estimated 53,000 injuries have been caused by the motorized bicycles through the first nine months of this year, the commission reported at a meeting with representatives of the ATV industry.

Approximately two-thirds of the victims of ATV-related accidents were between the ages of 5 and 24. That age group represented slightly more than one-third of the U.S. population in 1980, the CPSC said.

The hazards of the motorized bicycles include flipping, losing power and rolling over. Product failures such as broken brake handles and broken rear axle mounts also were cited. The CPSC said the hospitalization rate for victims of ATV accidents is twice the rate for minibikes and trailbikes and considerably greater than that for snowmobiles.

Most ATV accidents occur when a wheel strikes an object or the terrain suddenly changes -- primarily when the driver is speeding, said Nick Marchica, CPSC program manager for product safety assessment. The driver then loses control and is thrown from the bicycle, he said.

"Education, we believe, is the key to reducing accidents on ATVs," Edward Glynn of American Honda Co. told the CPSC. "We feel most accidents result from riders not following safety instructions," he added.

ATVs were introduced in the early 1970s, but 56 percent of all sales occurred in the last two years. The ATV industry was dominated by one company, Honda, until 1980, when Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki introduced ATVs.

The CPSC argued, however, that driver controls are not standardized and that the location of the rear wheels might allow a rider's foot to be caught under a wheel if the rider put a foot down on the ground while the ATV was moving.