Are all-terrain vehicle injuries becoming more severe?

Jennifer Axelband, Christopher Stromski, Nathaniel McQuay, Michael Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: There are several reasons to suspect that injuries from all-terrain vehicles (ATV) have become both more serious and frequent in recent years. These reasons include increasing engine power, younger age of operators and inconsistent enforcement of helmet laws. The purpose of this study was to determine if the increase in ATV injuries was out of proportion to the increase in ATV usage and whether ATV injuries have increased in severity. Methods: A retrospective analysis of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) ATV injury data and the Pennsylvania Trauma System Foundation (PTSF) database from 1989 to 2002 was performed. ATV use, sales, deaths, trauma center admissions, Injury Severity Score (ISS), hospital length of stay (LOS) and Glascow Coma Score (GCS) were reviewed. Results: ATV sales increased to 316%. In the decade prior to 2003, reported deaths nationally increased from 183 to 357 (95%) nationally and from 5 to 10 (100%) in Pennsylvania (PA). Admissions to trauma centers in PA increased 240%, yet the percentage of deaths to trauma center admissions remained constant at 2.6% during this period (p > .50). ISS and LOS from 1989 to 2002 did not significantly change (all p > .05) and GCS improved significantly. Conclusion: Despite concerns regarding the increasing dangers associated with ATVs, it appears that the severity of injuries from ATV use has not increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-215
Number of pages3
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007


  • ATV
  • ATV injuries
  • All-terrain vehicles
  • Off-road vehicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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