All-terrain vehicle (ATV)-related crashes involving children are a growing problem in the United States. On average, 532 adults and 77 children die from injuries sustained while riding ATVs each year.
At Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, ATV injuries are the fifth leading cause of emergency admission, accounting for 69 hospital admissions in 2017. Most treatments involve head injuries, caused by failure to wear a helmet or carrying too many passengers. Other injuries sustained from ATV crashes involve the neck and abdomen, and fractures to extremities.
Recent research indicates that children under 16 are more prone to ATV injuries because of their lack of experience and coordination operating large motorized vehicles and lack of mature judgment. These factors lead to risky behavior, poor decision-making and ultimately injury. Equally concerning is the fact that kids this age often do not wear helmets or receive formal ATV training even though these are two of the easiest ways to prevent injury.
Because ATV injuries are a rising concern in Tennessee, the Trauma Injury Prevention Program aims to limit the number of deaths and injuries caused by ATV crashes by increasing awareness about best practices for safe riding. Children’s Hospital fully supports the American Academy of Pediatrics’ and the American College of Surgeons’ recommendation that children 16 and under should not ride ATVs due to the high risk of serious injuries. If parents still believe this is an activity their child may pursue, an ATV rider safety course can provide proper training and education.
Managed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), ATV Safety Information Center identifies the following four restrictions as the current legislation on ATV safety in the state of Tennessee.
The following safety tips for ATV use are provided by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Need ATV Safety Gear? Visit the Safety Store at Children's Hospital.