25% of Child ATV Riders Never Wear Helmets
According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers, twenty-five percent of adolescents in the U.S. have ridden an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), but less than half of them regularly wear helmets and a quarter never do.
About the ATV Study
ATVs can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and are most popular with rural kids, who are the users least likely to wear a helmet. This puts them at a serious risk for injury. Researchers also found that those who most frequently ride ATVs had the lowest consistent helmet use.
According to Reuters, CDC researchers analyzed responses to a 2011 online survey of 831 kids between the ages of 12 and 17 about their health-related beliefs and behaviors. Children were asked how often they rode ATVs and whether they “always” or “not always” wore helmets while riding.
They found that twenty-five percent of kids said they had ridden an ATV in the past year. Of those, twice as many lived outside a major metropolitan area.
Only forty-five percent of kids who had ridden in the last year said they always wore a helmet and twenty-five percent said they never did. Among the kids who had ridden six or more times in the past year, 8 in 10 said they didn’t always wear a helmet.
- According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report, an estimated 29,000 children were hospitalized in 2011 because of ATV-related injuries. The same study says there are more than 10 million ATVs in use in the U.S.
- The previous year, researchers found that serious injuries in ATV crashes were fifty percent more likely to be deadly than comparable injuries among motorcycle riders.
- The researchers emphasized the importance of showing kids safe practices and stated that the parents should be a priority in accomplishing this.
- U.S. Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken, 41, was left paralyzed after severing her spine in an ATV accident last month.