Staying Safe on ATVs

International Society for Agricultural Safety & Health, 26 September 2015
Since their introduction in the mid 1970s, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have been a consistent and growing source of deaths and injuries, especially among children. Recent data show that one in three ATV crashes involve children and adolescents under the age of 16.
UI Children’s Hospital is committed to ATV safety and offers an ATV injury prevention program. The UI Children’s Hospital Safety Store staff aims to prevent injuries and deaths by educating children and parents throughout the state on the proper and safest ways to use an ATV. While ATVs can be enjoyable and useful, they can become dangerous very quickly.
Since 2002, records show that more than 200 ATV crashes occur each year in Iowa. Most of these crashes result in injuries serious enough to require emergency treatment in Iowa’s trauma centers. Head injuries are the most common type of injury and the leading cause of death in ATV crashes. Currently the state of Iowa has no helmet laws, and helmet use overall is relatively low in Iowa as in other states. Consistent use of helmets could reduce ATV-related deaths by an estimated 40 percent or more and non-fatal head injuries by over 60%.
The 3 E’s of ATV safety are engineering, education, and enforcement. With no formal state or national programs focused on ATV safety, as there are for auto safety, our program fills a need in Iowa to help reduce the number ATV injuries.
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