According to local news reports, our area saw two people who were injured after an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) crash last week. Two adults were riding an ATV on a street in Houtzdale when they didn't stop at a blinking red light. They were subsequently hit by a pickup trip, and were flown to our hometown hospital, UPMC Altoona, for care. The driver of the ATV is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol while driving. Both the STV driver and his passenger are said to have serious injuries.
Planning on riding on an all-terrain vehicle this fall? Are you sure that you're current on all the best practices for safety standards? If you're unsure, it may be time to brush up on your facts! The website ATVSafety.org offers a variety of extremely helpful resources for you, your family, and friends. They even have an online course so you can make sure you're fit and educated before you hit the road! You need to make sure you're safe and prepared before riding to avoid injuring yourself or others. It should be noted that, within the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, all-terrain vehicles need to be registered with the Department of Transportation. A license is not required for drivers of these vehicles. There are no clear laws pertaining to the registration of dirt bikes.
We all know that our state of Pennsylvania is beautiful and offers a huge range of outdoor adventure opportunities, especially in the summer! We have so many great natural parks in our state, which includes many lakes that allow for fishing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing. Recently, six of our state's parks made the list of "Top 100 Family Friendly Places to Fish and Boat", including two in our area! Keystone State Park in Pittsburgh and Bald Eagle State Park near Bellefonte both made the list.
As many area residents probably know, Pennsylvania has a large amount of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) users. Exploring the natural beauty of central Pennsylvania by ATV, motorbike, or snowmobile is a common activity among our area's families. However, the converse side to this activity is the potential for serious injury or death. According to a recent report, Pennsylvania ranks among the top five states for the highest numbers of ATV-related deaths.
Many Farm Bureaus across the states are working hard this year to implement their Agricultural Safety Awareness Program. As a component of this initiative, last week was designated as Agricultural Safety Awareness Week, and had a theme relating to riding safely while using farm machinery. One of the big pushes of the safety week was to raise awareness about all-terrain vehicle safety, especially the use of helmets.
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.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has a great website with very illustrative and engaging infographics relating to statistics surrounding ATV accidents year to year. Unsuprising to many who read our blog, Pennsylvania stands out among the top 10 states for ATV deaths. In the last 30 years, at least 494 people have died in ATV accidents in Pennsylvania. Countless more have been seriously injured while riding these vehicles. To learn more and to look at the US CPSC's informative charts, please click here.