All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have been a controversial mode of transportation in countries such as Australia, United States, and Canada where they are often used in rural environments. While many people enjoy the exhilaration and thrill of riding an ATV, the accident it causes is extremely dangerous. The injuries and deaths caused by ATVs is primarily a problem of rural communities, large suburban acreages, and off-road vehicle recreational areas.
The Danger in All-Terrain Vehicles
ATVs are motorized vehicles that are meant to be used off-road or on dirt roads. They usually have four large balloon-style tires, with a seat in the middle that a rider straddles while steering by the handlebars.
Weighing more than 800 pounds, the heavy duty vehicle is equipped with large, powerful engines that allow them to speed up at 50mph or more.
They have a high center of gravity and no roll bars, safety cages, or seatbelts, which means they can tip easily, throw riders and passengers off, or even roll over on top riders.
All-terrain vehicles can be a particularly dangerous form of transportation, especially for younger users. Whilst ATVs are highly susceptible to rollover, power, speed and uneven or steep terrain makes them even more dangerous.
ATVs can be unstable and hard to control, particularly at high speeds. Rollovers and collisions happen often, and some of these are fatal.
Most injuries are caused by high-energy trauma. Of those who get medical treatment, spinal cord injury, fractures and musculoskeletal injuries are the most common.
Injuries from ATV can occur in any areas of the body. The most common are musculoskeletal injuries.
Age alone plays a role in ATV injuries. Children are highly vulnerable to musculoskeletal injuries because they don’t have the muscle bulk or body mass to protect them. They are at risk for serious injuries and death.
Associated injuries that children frequently experience include thoracic trauma, neurologic injuries, spinal fractures and thoracic trauma.
ATVs pose a significant health risk to the riders, most likely children and teens, especially those who are under the age 16. Although dangerous, many serious ATV-related injuries are preventable. They are not designed for general roadway use.
Considering preventative measures can reduce the risk of injuries. The following can help:
• Take a training course
• Always follow the operator’s manual
• Only ride on familiar and even tracks
• Install appropriate crush protection device
Children and teens should not be driving the machine as they are less able to stop a vehicle roll over.
Using protective helmets specifically sized for each rider needs to be enforced to reduce the risk of head injuries.
There are still some three-wheeler ATVs around, but manufacturers stopped making them in 1988 due to concerns about stability and safety.
How Physiotherapy Helps
Get help from a healthcare professional such as your physiotherapist if you got into an ATV accident. Physiotherapy improves your health and well-being without the use of drugs or surgery.
Physiotherapists are skilled in the assessment and management of a broad range of conditions led by injuries. They evaluate and restore strength, endurance, movement, and physical abilities. They use comprehensive biomechanical approach, identifying hidden injuries, not just the visible ones.
Rehabilitation is crucial to promote speedy recovery and restore proper functioning. Specific therapeutic exercises are prescribed according to your condition. A physiotherapist oversees your rehabilitation in your home to ensure your recovery and prevent recurring injuries.
Sustaining injuries from riding ATV can be very dangerous and cause lifetime disability. Don’t let this happen to you and your loved ones. We can help you recover and get back to your feet. Call us today at 9272 7359.