Adolescents ignoring ATV manufacturer safety warnings: study

Hartford, CT – The majority of adolescents who are injured while riding all-terrain vehicles ignore manufacturers’ safety warnings, including recommendations to use ATVs with smaller engines, according to a recent study.

Researchers analyzed crash circumstances and medical treatment related to ATV injuries at three pediatric trauma centers from 2007 to 2012. A total of 84 patients whose average age was 13 completed a lengthy questionnaire about their crashes and riding habits.

The results showed a strong relationship between dangerous ATV riding practices and severe injuries, researchers said. Their findings include:

  • 71 percent ignored manufacturers’ recommendations that children younger than 16 should ride ATVs with smaller engines (90 cc or less).
  • 70 percent did not wear a helmet.
  • 56 percent had no adult supervision.
  • 50 percent were “double riding” with a passenger.
  • 23 percent were riding on paved roads.
  • 16 percent were riding at night.
  • 43 percent required operations because of their injuries.

Additionally, more than half of those injured said they plan to ride an ATV again. Based on the data, researchers said, more needs to be done to prevent children younger than 16 from operating ATVs.

The study was published in the July edition of the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.