N.C. – April 14, 2017 – All-terrain vehicle-related injuries
remain a large public health problem in this country, with children more
adversely affected than adults. According to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist
Medical Center, the major risk factors for young riders also are entirely
“The injuries children sustain from ATV-related accidents
are frequently more severe than injuries received from motor vehicle crashes,”
said Thomas Pranikoff, M.D., professor of pediatric surgical sciences at Wake
Forest Baptist and lead author of the study published in the March online issue
of the Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Pranikoff and colleagues reviewed
data from 16 published studies conducted from 2000 to 2010 on the epidemiology
and risk factors among ATV-related injuries in American children.
Data from 2013, the most
recent reporting year from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, showed
that there were an estimated 99,600 ATV-related injuries in the United States
that required at least emergency department treatment. Of those, approximately
25 percent were in children under 16.
The factors that appear
related to the relatively high rates of death and injury for children are more
powerful machines, younger drivers and lack of safety equipment and risky
driving behavior, Pranikoff said. The most common causes for ATV injuries among
young riders are vehicle rollover, collision with a stationary object and
ejection from the vehicle.
“Unfortunately, legislation and programs designed to
reduce risks have largely been unsuccessful so we need to try a different
approach to reduce injuries,” he said.
Peer-to-peer and brief interventions, especially with the
use of motivational approaches, have shown promise in changing risky behaviors
in other arenas but have not been studied with respect to ATVs.
“As ATV use continues to
rise in the United States with bigger and faster machines becoming more
prominent, research to define effective means of changing ATV-riding behaviors
in children, whether implemented in hospital, school of other settings, will be
crucial in reducing pediatric injury and death,” Pranikoff said.
Co-authors are: Andrea Doud,
M.D., Marcia McCall, M.BA., and Laura J. Veach, Ph.D., of Wake Forest Baptist;
Regina Moro, Ph.D., of Barry University in Miami; Stephen Gray Wallace, M.S.,
of Center for Adolescent Research and Education in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.;
and Michael D. Smith, P.S.Y.D., of Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.
Support for the study was
provided by the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.