All-terrain vehicle (ATV) is the motorized vehicle specialized for use on the dirt roads of off-roads but not on highways or paved roads. The design of these ATV includes four balloons styled large tires with a seat in the center. The initial model of the ATV had three tires, which are now discontinued because of safety and stability concerns.
ATV riding has gained popularity as an adventure activity. As this activity has increased, it has also led to an increase in the number of cases of ATV accidents. It has also been reported that the number of children getting injured in these accidents is also increasing. Most ATV accidents mentioned younger children injuring their head and necks, altering their growth and development.
Types of injuries occurring because of ATV accidents
These ATVs have a high center of gravity and have a riding speed of over 65-70 miles per hour. These ATVs have powerful engines but have no safety cages, no roll bars, or seat belts; thus, they easily tip over, causing disaster. The different types of injuries sustained from the different ATV accidents include the following.
- Cuts and scratches
- Broken arms and legs
- Broken collarbones
- Abdominal trauma
- Head and neck injuries
These injuries may be serious and can also prove to be life-threatening.
Tips to prevent severe ATV accident related injuries in children
The minor injuries caused by the ATV accidents like cuts and scratches can be healed easily. But if the ATV is not handled properly, it may lead to ATV accidents with a severe head injury that may even lead to death. The different tips that one needs to follow to prevent ATV accidents include the following.
- Age limit: There is no age limit mentioned as per the regulations, but it is not recommended to allow kids below the age of 16 to ride the ATV without adult supervision. These ATVs are heavy and require special skills to handle them as they need to maintain their balance while riding them. The rider also needs to have a sharp mind to make a fast decision while riding, like shifting weight and understanding when to slow down or speed up. The rider needs to have the proper knowledge of coordination and judgment; younger kids might not make such quick decisions leading to the mishap.
- Safety training: The rider should undertake the safety training for riding ATVs. Training can provide the skill of balancing the weight and the ATV while riding. Training will also help develop skills to tackle the obstacles in the path while riding ATV.
- Selection of proper ATV size: There are different models available for ATVs. ATVs are heavy, and kids should select the ATVs which are modeled for kids. The selection of the ATV should depend on the age and physique of the person who can handle the ATVs with ease.
- Protective gear: It is advised that all ATV riders wear protective gear like the helmet and eye protection gear. This will help to protect the rider from a severe head injury in case of any ATV accident. It is mandatory to use this protective gear while riding the ATVs.
- Single rider: The design of most ATVs is to handle one person. More passengers will make the ATV unstable and increase the chances of ATV accidents. More passengers on the ATV will put the life of the rider and the passenger at risk.
- Selection of ride time: The ATVs are ridden on the off-roads or in the woods. Thus it is preferred that the rider operated these ATVs in the area and at a time of good visibility. Poor visibility increases the chances of ATV accidents. Day time is the most preferred time for riding the ATV as the rider can easily spot the potential obstacles reducing the likelihood of a mishap.
- Proper clothing: The rider should avoid wearing shorts or tank tops, which will expose a lot of skin to vulnerable cuts and scratches. The preferable clothing while riding the ATV includes wearing clothes with long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
- Don’t ride under the influence of medicine: Riding a ATV needs alertness of mind, which may be affected by some prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. Thus the rider should avoid riding the ATV when under the influence of medicine.
- Don’t ride on paved roads: The ATVs are specially designed for off-road or dirt roads. This paved surface of any smooth surface makes the handling of the ATV difficult. There are increased chances that the rider might lose control of the vehicle leading to the ATV accident.
Riding the ATV is an adventure, but this adventure should not lead to any disaster. Thus one should ensure that the children follow the above-mentioned preventive tips to decrease the chances of ATV accidents.