ATV Child Injury Rate Declines
According to PEDIATRICS, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 361,000 children were seriously injured in all-terrain vehicle accidents in the U.S. from 2001 to 2010. Although safety experts agree that the amount of injuries is far too high, statistics indicate that the non-fatal injury rate has actually declined from 2005-2010.
Other key findings from the study show:
- The injury rate peaked at 67 per 100,000 children in 2004 and then declined to 42 per 100,000 children by 2010.
- The annual injury rate for boys was double that for girls (73 versus 37 per 100,000).
- Children ages 11 to 15 years old accounted for two thirds of all ED visits and hospitalizations.
- Fractures accounted for 28 percent of ED visits and 48 percent of hospitalizations.
If the decline in injuries was attributed to rider safety, it would be seen as a positive trend. Instead, researchers found that it may just be related to the economic recession. In recent years, fewer people have purchased ATVs due to economic concerns and fewer vehicles have been able to get into accidents where injuries are reported.
So researchers are urging increased use of safety precautions to further reduce injuries among children:
- Prohibit children from riding adult-size ATVs.
- Wear a helmet.
- Do not ride on paved roads.
- Do not ride as or carry a passenger.
They also found that more research to better understand crash dynamics can lead to safer designs of ATVs for the future.