The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) ran a very interesting article about the nature of four-wheeler use and how injuries often occur as a result. According to their article, ATVs were largely first introduced into the United States in the 1970s. Since that time, both their use and subsequent injuries have risen substantially. Using data from 2007, AAOS determined that about 150,000 people were injured using ATVs in a year. From the time period of the early 1980s to 2009, over 10,000 people died in ATV-related accidents.
What some people may not realize is that current models of ATVs can reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour. However, when they were first invented, they were supposed to be used for farm use and had only three wheels. People have been concerned about the safety of these vehicles since the 1980s, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission actually banned them for use for 10 years in 1988. Directly after, more intensive safety and education programs were available for those who chose to ride ATVs. Unfortunately, since the expiration of the ban and the development of mechanical technology, ATVs have become large and more powerful, but not any safer.
Let's take a look at who is the most at risk for ATV injuries and death. According to AAOS's article, there appears to be several risk factors and statistics for ATV users.
- Most ATV injuries occur in young, adult, white males
- Most ATV accidents occur in rural areas
- Injuries often occur to the driver, rather than to the passengers
- Although only 15% of ATV riders are youths, they are 27% of the injuries and 28% of the fatalities
- Other riders (such as those about 50 years old) are also at a higher risk for injury
- All of the states have ATV legislation, but vary in both severity and amount of details
- Unfortunately, most legislation has not done much to prevent continued injury and death among ATV users
Want to learn more or discuss your potential ATV-related legal case? Please contact Attorney Stoehr at his Altoona-area practice at 814-946-4100.