During this year’s annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, trauma surgeons and public health researchers revealed that ATV riders are 50 percent more likely to succumb to crash-related injuries or need aggressive trauma following a crash than motorcyclists, even if the severity of the injuries was similar.
The U.S. study gathered data on more than 58,000 accidents between 2002 and 2006. Of those, 13,749 were off-road motorcycle accidents and 44,509 were off-road ATV accidents.
Even though 60 percent of the motorcyclists in the study wore helmets and only 30 percent of the ATV riders did, the study found that even among the helmet wearers ATV riders fared worse than motorcyclists. The study doesn’t say, however what percentage of riders wore non-approved headgear or riding gear.
Researchers are at a loss to explain the cause of the higher mortality rate on ATVs. “We can’t tell why from this database,” said trauma surgeon Adil Haider, MD, MPH, FACS, assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, “We think there are much more energy transfers when an ATV turns over, but we can’t tell whether that is because of the stability of the vehicle or the weight of the vehicle as it rolls over on a rider.”