All-terrain vehicle injuries. A review at a rural level II trauma center

Am Surg. 1988 Aug;54(8):471-4.


All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have become a major source of morbidity and mortality with more than 600 deaths nationwide. Nearly half of those injured are children under 16 years. Twenty three ATV accidents were seen at the Guthrie Medical Center over a 30 month period ending in August 1986. Ten patients (43.5%) were under 16 years old. Of those injured who were older, alcohol was involved in 70 per cent of the accidents. Five accidents occurred on highways (21.7%), in spite of laws banning their use on public roads. Rollover type accidents and collisions were the most frequent mechanisms of injury (39% and 35%). Of 18 patients known not to have worn a helmet, 61 per cent sustained a closed head injury. In all, there were 88 injuries in 23 patients. Common injuries included lacerations (13), long bone fractures (13), renal contusions (11) and head injury (11). There were two deaths (8.7%), two cord transections with permanent disability, and a below-knee amputation. ATVs present a serious hazard to adult and children riders alike. Age limits, state licensing, safety programs, and protective equipment are all recommended as a means to reduce injury and death from recreational riding.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents*
  • Humans
  • Motorcycles* / standards
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*