According to a new report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 2010 and 2011, the number of ATV injuries declined among all riders. However, the same study found that in 2011 alone, 57 children under the age of 16 suffered fatalities due to ATVs. A newer study by Ruth Shults of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms the findings. That study suggests that injury rates for ATV accidents involving children have declined since 2004. That year, 67 per 100 000 kids were injured on the vehicles. Since then, injuries have dropped by over one third.
However, in the past ten years the number of children seriously injured while driving ATVs is 360,000 – a number that many safety experts agree is too high. Some safety experts also claim that the new decline in ATV injuries may not have anything to do with safety measures or safety awareness. Instead, the decline may be caused by a sluggish economy. Since fewer people are buying or riding ATVs due to economic concerns, there are fewer accidents and injuries are reported. Similar declines in truck and car accidents in Homestead and other communities have been noted in recent years, for some of the same reasons.
According to the new ATV study, children between the ages 11 and 15 have the highest rate of injuries with ATVs and boys are more likely to be injured than girls. Fractures, cuts, and scrapes are the most common ATV-related injuries for children. However, head injuries in Homestead and other communities are also very common. According to the study, close to 30 percent of ATV child injuries involving children under the age of 6 were to the neck and head area.
Another cause of concern, according to researchers, is that children are more likely to be injured by an ATV than by other types of traffic accidents in Homestead and other communities. About 13% of children involved in ATV accidents needed hospitalization, meaning that children are twice as likely to need hospitalization when injured in an ATV collision when compared with children injured in a car accident.
Shults recommends that parents take extra precautions when it comes to children and ATVs. According to her, parents should:
1.Never allow children to be passengers on ATVs, as the vehicles are only meant to hold one rider
2.Never permit ATVs to be ridden on a paved surface, as this increases the risk of a rollover
3.Supervise children on ATVs carefully
Some emergency room physicians and safety experts recommend that children should not be permitted on the vehicles at all, as collisions and rollovers can lead to permanent spinal cord or brain injury and, in some cases, fatalities.
If your child has been injured in an ATV accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group. If the manufacturer was negligent in designing or manufacturing the vehicle or if recklessness or negligence played a role in your child’s injury, you may have a personal injury claim. There may be legal options that allow you to seek compensation for your child’s injuries. Contact the Flaxman Law Group today to learn more details in a free consultation.