Risk and preventive factors for fatalities in All-terrain Vehicle Accidents in New Zealand

Accid Anal Prev. 2010 Mar;42(2):612-8. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.10.007. Epub 2009 Nov 11.


All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) have been used in agriculture for a few decades now. Yet despite their invaluable contribution to the productivity of the agricultural industry they are associated with a large number of accidents, many of which result in a severe or fatal outcome. The main objective of this study was to identify the risk factors for ATV-related fatal injuries in order to support the design of effective interventions. Using data held by the Department of Labour, the current study analysed 355 cases of serious harm accidents associated with ATVs including 45 fatalities. The findings suggest that injuries are more likely to occur when accidents involve any of the following: children under the age of 10; four-wheel drive ATVs; driving downhill; driving on a sealed road; driving backwards; or if the ATV rolls sideways. A fatal outcome is more likely to occur when ATV accidents end up with the vehicle rolling over and pinning the driver underneath. Fatalities were also associated with injuries to the head, neck and chest. Being employed; and/or having formal training; and/or having brakes and tyres well maintained on the ATV; and/or having no fluid load on the ATV reduced the risk for fatality. Since the likelihood of a fatal outcome was found to be related to human behaviour and ATV rollover, it is suggested that interventions should mainly address these two issues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Agriculture
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Off-Road Motor Vehicles / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons
  • Young Adult