Undoubtedly, the benefits of Quad bikes & ATVs can not be denied. These recreational vehicles give a fun-filled, joyous, and adventurous ride. Due to these aspects, ATVs have gained popularity in many countries in no time. But at the same time, ATVs still pose some disadvantages. If not ridden properly with safety precautions, they can be fatal and life-threatening to the riders.
The thrills come with major safety risks. A big reason is the inherent flaw in the design. ATVs and quadbikes are known to be unstable and hard to control at times in particular environments, particularly at high speeds. Rollovers and collisions happen often, and sometimes can be very fatal.
Statistics of the ATV/Quad Bike accidents
Accidents are an unavoidable part of life. ATVs are quite in fashion for the joyful ride that they offer, but still, they can be fatal on the road. Some of the statistical record of ATV’s injuries and accidents is as follows.
Since the advent of ATVs in 1982, the number of accidents was 10,000 in a year, and until the year 2017, this number has increased to 15,000 yearly. This increase has been attributed to the widespread use of these vehicles over the years. A rise in the number of fatalities has also been observed over the years. For example, only 29 fatal injuries were reported in the year 1982, but this number rose to 766 in the year 2017 only. The number of reported deaths is 10,281 from the year 1982 to 2009.
ATV injuries are more common to men between the age of 18 to 30 years. Statistics show that 25 % of the accidents are caused to young adults. This is due to the fact that four-wheelers are more common at this age, and they are more interested in riding fast. Despite being 15 % of the riders, children also make up 27 % of the total accidents caused by the four-wheelers. The reason behind that they are the least experienced riders and often hesitate to wear helmets.
In 2011 and 2017, it was reported that about 107,500 and 93,800 visits respectively were made to A&E (Accident & Emergency room). These were all involved in ATV accidents. Most of the accidents by these ATVs occur on the highways or roads, it is indeed a sad reality, but these vehicles are not meant to be driven on the roads and national highways. According to some resources, about 135,000 people get injured, and 700 die in accidents due to these ATVs annually.
How can you be safe?
Click here to check out our article on measures you can take to stay safe when riding ATVs and Quadbikes.
Causes of ATV accidents
ATV accidents are caused by a lot of reasons. Some of them include driving after being drunk, over speeding, hill climbing, rolling over of the vehicle. If the ATV is filled with more passengers than the capacity of the ATV, then it may lead to an accident. Most of the ATVs are designed to be driven by a single passenger only. If a second or third passenger is boarded, then a disaster may ensue, as these passengers put an extra unaffordable load on the vehicle. Sometimes during the accident, it has also been observed that the second or the third passenger may fall off the ATV during rolling over. The other unavoidable reason for the accident is some defective spare parts installed in the system. This faulty part can be anything from a tire, clutch, throttle, gas tank, fender to a shifter. Some other causes of ATV crashes can be as follows.
Driving an ATV on a paved road because ATVs are meant to be driven off-road, and they are poorly handled and driven on smooth pavements.
If the driver of the ATV is inexperienced, then there are more chances that during riding, it could meet with an accident, or if the driver is a child or a teenager, then adult supervision is a must requirement. To perform dangerous stunts on ATVs while driving can also lead to accidents. If one is driving an ATV in an unfamiliar area, then there are more chances that he could meet with an accident. If someone fails to abide by the laws set by the local administration and the ministry of transport, then the chances of the accident are immensely increased.
Types of injuries caused by ATV accidents
By looking at the statistics discussed above, we can easily estimate the fatalities and types of injuries caused by these ATV accidents. No doubt that ATV is a dangerous ride, its heavyweight and absence of a seatbelt make it even more dangerous to drive. ATV accidents may end up in deaths or some fatal injuries, which are discussed below.
While riding an ATV, it is always advised to take precautionary measures. The most important of them includes wearing a helmet. ATVs have no roofs, and this could be detrimental, especially if you are driving at high speed. A helmet protects the head and prevents fatal head injuries like a trauma, hemorrhage, or a skull fracture.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The approximate weight of an ATV ranges between 500 to 600 pounds or more. It means that during an accident, when an ATV flips, it can exert a significant amount of pressure on your body. It is estimated that almost 7.9% of ATV accidents end up in spinal injuries. Some spinal injuries lead to the paralysis of the body.
All the ATV accidents do not end up in fatal injuries. Some of the lucky injured ATV drivers just suffer from minor fractures. Abrasions, burns, and scratches may occur on the legs if you are not wearing long pants. It could be a bad experience, but it warns the rider to be more careful for the next time.
Rollover accidents of ATVs are the scariest dangerous ones. This type of accident can occur if there’s an obstacle on the road, or the rider wants to showcase some stunts. It is a sad reality that as a result of these rollover accidents, the rider may suffer from some internal injuries due to hitting with some heavy obstacle or getting down under the heavy ATV. This massive weight can damage the internal organs or may cause some internal bleeding.
While encountering an accident with these heavy and large ATVs, falls, rollovers, and crashes can not be avoided. As a result of the accident, the bones may get fractured, or you may get painful bruises or a sprain.
Safety measures for ATV riding
- You can still make your ATV ride adventurous, joyous, and fun-filled simply by adopting some precautionary measures.
- A safety kit should be worn every time you ride. These include goggles, helmets, gloves, and boots.
- A thorough inspection of every auto part of the vehicle should be done prior to each ride.
- Do not ride if you are drunk or taking some sort of drugs.
- Do not drive if you are tired.
- Always ride on the designated trails.
- Do not imitate or perform dangerous stunts while driving an ATV.
- Do not overload the ATV with many passengers.
Hopefully, by taking these measures, accidents can be avoided to a greater extent.