Introduction Since the introduction of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) to the United States in 1971, injuries and mortalities related to their use have increased significantly. Furthermore, these vehicles have become larger and more powerful. As there are no helmet requirements or limitations on engine-size in the State of Alabama, we hypothesised that larger engine size would correlate with an increased incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in patients following an ATV crash. Methods Patient and ATV data were prospectively collected on all ATV crashes presenting to a level one trauma centre from September 2010 to May 2013. Collected data included: demographics, age of driver, ATV engine size, presence of helmet, injuries, and outcomes. The data were grouped according to the ATV engine size in cubic centimetres (cc). For the purposes of this study, TBI was defined as any type of intracranial haemorrhage on the initial computed tomography scan. Results There were 61 patients identified during the study period. Two patients (3%) were wearing a helmet at the time of injury. Patients on an ATV with an engine size of 350 cc or greater had higher Injury Severity Scores (13.9 vs. 7.5, p ≤ 0.05) and an increased incidence of TBI (26% vs. 0%, p ≤ 0.05) when compared to patients on ATV's with an engine size less than 350 cc. Conclusions Patients on an ATV with an engine size of 350 cc or greater were more likely to have a TBI. The use of a helmet was rarely present in this cohort. Legislative efforts to implement rider protection laws for ATVs are warranted.
- Intracranial haemorrhage
- Traumatic brain injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine