Saturday, 13 March 2010

Orthopedic, Pediatric Specialists Warn About Growing Numbers of ATV Accident-Related Spinal Injuries

Spinal injury lawyers in California have been consistently reminding consumers and manufacturers about the need to make All Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s) safer and the need to train children to use these better. As auto safety crises and other scandals have occupied public attention, ATV safety has dropped a little from the safety radar. That changed this week as two new studies were presented, pointing to an increase in the number of injuries to children from ATV accidents, and causing concern to California spinal cord injury lawyers.

The findings of the first report were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in New Orleans. Pediatricians and orthopedic surgeons who collaborated on the study, say that they have been noticing an alarming increase in the number of serious injuries linked to the use of all-terrain vehicles. According to the researchers, ATV safety has not really increased after three wheeler ATVs were banned. In fact, the researchers found that the four wheeler ATVs that have risen in popularity, are not much safer than the three wheeler ones.

In the first study, the researchers looked at emergency room records at a California trauma care center. The records were of patients who suffered an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle between the 1st of 2005, right through to the end of 2007. The researchers studied a total of 110 records, and found that:

People who were involved in a multi-rider all-terrain vehicle accident, were up to 10 times more likely to suffer serious injuries that required amputations, compared to people who rode conventional all-terrain vehicles designed for a single rider. The researchers are stressing on the dangers to multi-rider ATVs, compared to single rider ones.

The second study indicated that approximately 4,500 children in the US suffered an injury in an ATV-related accident in 2006. Of these, 7.4% sustained a spinal cord injury. That was an increase of more than 140% in the number of child injuries from ATV-related accidents since 1997, and an increase of a whopping 467% in spinal cord injuries in children. Approximately half of the children who were injured in these ATV accidents were hospitalized for injuries, and approximately 1/3rd of the children required surgery. This was in spite of the fact that many of the children had been wearing helmets at the time of the accident.

There are a number of factors that have been responsible for this spike in injuries from ATV accidents. Newer ATVs are much heavier, and can reach speeds of more than 100 mph. They also come with a higher center of gravity, increasing the risk of a rollover.

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