Most of us would think that it is safer to enjoy off road riding in an all-terrain vehicle with 4 wheels than on a two wheeled bike. However, most of us would be wrong.
New research out of Johns Hopkins University found that victims of ATV crashes were 50% more likely to die of their injuries than those injured in off-road motorcycle crashes. The ATV crash victims were 55% more likely to wind up in an intensive care unit of a hospital, and 42% more likely to be placed on a ventilator than dirt bike accident victims.
The research study based its conclusions on approximately 60,000 patients who suffered injuries from ATV and off-road motorcycle accidents between 2002 and 2006.
Although statistics showed that 60% of injured bikers were wearing helmets compared to 30% of injured ATV riders, researchers state that the use of helmets was only part of the reason for the differences. They found that a comparison of riders of both types of vehicles showed that when wearing helmets, ATV riders suffered more serious injuries.
In addition to the higher percentage of non-helmet wearing riders, the size and weight of the ATV and its potential to roll over and crush a fallen rider played a large role in the seriousness of the injuries suffered. There are no stability standards for ATV vehicles which if enforced, could potentially reduce the number of rollover accidents.
If you or your children enjoy off road riding you should be aware of these statistics, wear a helmet, and train properly to reduce the possibility of a rollover crash.