ATV head, spinal injuries on the rise: study

The number of injuries related to all-terrain vehicles is on the rise, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Researchers in the university's Department of Neurosurgery examined crash data of patients with ATV-related neurological injuries in Utah from 2001 to 2005 from four statewide trauma and hospital databases. Findings show injury frequency increased over time, from 116 in 2001 to 174 in 2005.

Additional data shows:

  • Of the 741 patients with ATV-related injuries, 559 experienced head trauma and 328 sustained spinal trauma.
  • The median age for patients was 24.
  • Vehicle rollover was the most common cause of injury, followed by loss of control and separation of rider and vehicle.
Researchers concluded that more public education, training, helmet use, and regulation of ATVs and their use is needed. The study was published in the October issue of the journal Neurosurgery, a publication of the Schaumburg, IL-based Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

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