Offroad Vehicle Injuries
Offroad vehicles refer to any four wheeled or three wheeled vehicle that is designed for riding on an unpaid service and is run by a motor. This includes snow mobiles, motorbikes, altering vehicles, and jet skis. Research from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that offroad vehicles are a cause of serious children's injuries.
While these offroad vehicles can be enjoyable and possible even a personal purchase for you and your loved ones, they are also very dangerous. Whether an accident is caused by someone else not paying attention or by a defective part on the vehicle itself, the impacts of such an accident can be far-reaching. Crashing an ATV or a snowmobile, for example, can lead to serious personal injury and property damage as well. Since these vehicles are seen as a source of great fun, many people underestimate the potential for catastrophic accidents and injuries until it's too late. Children, in particular, can be exposed to major risks using any offroad vehicle, and parents should be aware of ways to prevent these issues.The Scope of Offroad Injuries
In fact, in 2010 17% of all the fatalities associated with ATVs were children under the age of 16. Of those, 47% of those deaths have been for children younger than 12. An estimated 14,000 children younger than 12 were affected or seriously injured by ATV accidents during that same year. Snow mobiles too present serious concerns for parents and children. More than 12,600 individuals were hurt as a result of snow mobiles in 1997, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Of those, 18% were children younger than ages 14 and 48% of the people who sustained injuries in snow mobile accidents were between the ages of 15 and 24.
Nearly half of all of these snow mobile related injuries affecting children happen on private property where use restrictions are not applicable. Although come states across the country have passed laws related to young adults and ATVs such as requiring safety education courses, minimum operator age requirements, and use of safety equipment, this has not helped to completely reduce the number of injuries sustained in snowmobile accidents.
While most Americans are familiar that highway accidents take thousands of lives and lead to many injuries and fatalities every single year, there is less of an awareness about the severe dangers of snow mobiles, ATVs and other offroad vehicles. Hundreds of fatal crashes are caused every single year by offroad vehicles.
Considering that of the off-road vehicle deaths, approximately 25% involve children under age 16, this is a serious concern for parents and young adults making use of offroad vehicles. Of the ATV injuries that are ultimately treated in emergency departments, 15% of those are admitted to the hospital. Some of the most common injuries associated with offroad vehicle accidents affect the neck and the head.
Approximately one out of every three individuals who is treated for an off-road vehicle accident will sustain an injury to their neck or their head. These include fractures, whiplash and traumatic brain injuries and these made up approximately 29% of offroad vehicle accidents in 2013. Broken bones are another common consequence of offroad vehicle accidents.
One in four individuals who are hurt in offroad vehicle accident will break a minimum of one bone. Fractures were the most common type of bone injury seen in the hospital. Safety education programs, awareness about the dangers of offroad vehicles and keeping an eye on children using offroad vehicles is extremely important for curbing injuries. However, this is not always possible. A child who sustains injuries may have developmental issues, psychological trauma and other consequences as a result of being hurt in an off-road vehicle accident.
These concerns can be amplified when there are any defective parts on that piece of equipment that increased the chances of injury or fatality. For the children injured on these vehicles and their parents, the consequences of a vehicle accident can be far reaching.