With the popularity of all-terrain vehicles at an all-time high, a study has revealed that ATV accidents are also on the rise. A new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, hopes to alert Americans about the dangers of ATVs, especially when it comes to children. The hospital’s study found that over the past 25 years, 31 children per day (on average) were treated in U.S. emergency departments for ATV-related head and neck injuries. Experts say preliminary data show that these vehicles have become even more popular with the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dangers of ATVs
Researchers say that when you are traveling 30mph on an ATV and you hit a tree, you may not get a second chance. At that speed and with heavy machines like ATVs, one mistake can result in a life-changing injury. Today.com, which featured the study, also talked to Kristen Almer whose 11-year-old nephew, Logan Almer, died in an ATV accident back in 2013. She has since started a program promoting power sports safety to kids and parents.
On May 24, 2013, the youngster from Wisconsin got on his dad’s ATV when no adults were around. He was not wearing a helmet or other protective gear. When he reached the road, he turned sharply because he didn’t know how to drive an ATV on pavement. The ATV flipped twice, crushing and killing the boy.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), between 1982 and 2018, there were at least 15,744 ATV-related fatalities. Of these, 3,353 involved children younger than 16. According to 2018 data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 80-90% of fatalities involving ATVs, the victims were not wearing helmets. The Consumer Federation of America reports that July is the month with the most fatalities involving ATVs, particularly the July 4 weekend. Arm, leg, and ankle fractures are common, but so are catastrophic injuries such as brain trauma, internal organ injuries, and spinal cord damage.
Safety Tips for ATV Users
Here are a few tips to protect you and your loved ones from ATV accidents and injuries:
- Do not let young children ride ATVs. Those under 16 years of age should only ride under supervision.
- Always wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
- Do not ride on paved roads except to cross a road when it’s safe and permitted by law.
- Never ride an ATV when you are under the influence. Do not get on a vehicle driven by someone who is under the influence.
- Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV.
- Take a course on ATV safety before you start riding.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident due to a defective vehicle, faulty part, or because of someone else’s negligence, please contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.