Riding ATVs can be a rush, whether you’re straddling a Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, Can-Am or a quad manufactured by another industry leader. Maybe the potential danger of the power sport is part of the adventure. Based on emergency department reports in the U.S., there were 101,200 ATV injuries warranting emergency care in 2016 alone. Approximately 26% of those clinic visits involved children age 15 and under. Tragically, 337 ATV-related deaths occurred in 2016, as well, which was down from 484 in 2015 and 581 in 2014. Minimizing the risk of injury on an ATV is obviously an important consideration.
Common ATV Injuries
There are several serious non-fatal injuries that occur as a result of an ATV crash or rollover. Some require extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy and some are life-altering. The most serious ATV injuries include the following:
• Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
• Spinal cord injuries
• Permanent concussions
• Neurologic injuries
• Neck injuries
• Abdominal injuries
• Chest injuries
Common ATV Dangers
Understanding the risks on ATVs can lead to taking preventative safety measures. A certain level of skill is required to operate a quad, especially in challenging terrain. It is not unusual for inexperienced riders to flip or roll their quad, resulting in injuries. Riders can be thrown from the ATV or pinned underneath it. ATVs are designed to carry one individual, with rare exception. Riding with a passenger greatly increases the chances of having an accident, since the general stability of the vehicle is affected.
Children may not have sufficient cognitive abilities, physical strength, or fine motor skills to properly operate an ATV, which increases the risk of injury. Teen riders suffer more head injuries and other severe injuries than other age groups.
Tips to Avoid ATV Injuries
Safety should always be a top priority, when preparing to ride ATVs. Serious injuries can often be avoided by taking the following steps:
• Wear an approved helmet that fits properly.
• Wear protective footwear, preferably at least ankle-high.
• Only one person at a time on ATVs. No passengers.
• Do not drive an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• The ATV’s operating manual should be read and understood by the driver.
• Drivers should understand limitations of their quad in association with the terrain.
• Young children should not be allowed to operate an ATV.
• Before operating an ATV, riders should take safety training and gain practical experience.
• Become familiar with local and state regulations associated with riding ATVs.
• On any ATV ride, be sure there is at least one communications device that will work on the trail, in case there is an emergency.
Ready to Ride!
You can get all of the safety equipment and apparel you need at Outdoor Powerhouse. We always have a great inventory of ATVs by top manufacturers, such as Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, Can-Am, and more. Call Outdoor Powerhouse today at 225-791-2277.