Staying Safe Off-Road
We won’t deny it- All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are fun. You’ve probably taken a ride on an ATV at some point, or maybe you’ve even driven one. However, the thrill of the ride comes with major risks.
We won’t deny it- All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are fun. You’ve probably taken a ride on an ATV at some point, or maybe you’ve even driven one. However, the thrill of the ride comes with major risks. Emergency department physicians at Children’s of Alabama have treated more than 230 cases of ATV-related traumas in the past three years. Nationally, more than 100,000 ATV-related traumas are treated every year in emergency departments, and more than one-third of those cases involve children under the age of 16.
What makes ATVs so dangerous? In short, they can be very unstable and prone to tip over. Dr. Kristyn Jeffries is a resident physician at Children’s of Alabama. She has personal experience with the dangers of ATVs. One of her family friends lost their 11-year-old daughter due to an ATV accident. “That’s why I’m so motivated to prevent this tragedy from happening to other families,” she said.
DYK? It’s against Alabama law to operate an ATV on public roads!
If you are going to ride an ATV, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a few extremely important recommendations to help keep you safe.
ATV Safety Recommendations:
- Drivers should be at least 16 years old.
- No passengers should ride on an ATV.
- Always wear a helmet, eye protection, and reflective clothing when riding an ATV.
These recommendations come not only from the AAP, but also straight from ATV manufacturers. Riding an ATV is never without risk. Even when the rider takes proper precautions, there is still the potential for injury. That’s why Children’s of Alabama and the Injury Free Coalition for Kids have partnered to educate children and adults about ATV safety. To schedule a speaker at your school, call 205-638-9587. Check out childrensal.org and atvsafety.org for more info!