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Preventing Massachusetts ATV Accidents: Kids Under 14 Now Banned from Operating ATVs

A new state law has just gone into effect that prohibits kids under age 14 from operating ATVs. Our Boston ATV accident lawyers hope that this will decrease the number of injuries and deaths involving all-terrain vehicles.

According to a new study, the number of spinal cord injuries and brain injuries involving all-terrain vehicles has gone up by up to 50%, with younger riders at greater risk of sustaining this type of serious injury. The study was conducted by Drs. Joel D. MacDonald and Michael A. Finn of University of Utah, Salt Lake City and has been published in this month’s issue of Neurosurgery.

Researchers analyzed trends involving ATV-related spinal and brain injuries that took place in Utah between 2001 and 2005 when about 1,500 patients were injured in ATV accidents:

• 741 of the patients had spine injuries or head injuries or both.
• Approximately 500 patients had injuries serious enough that they had to go to the hospital.
• Over 50% of these patients were the recipients of intensive care.
• On average, hospital stays lasted four days.
• Injuries included facial fractures, skull fractures, facial lacerations, and spinal cord injuries.
• 4 patients were pronounced dead on arrival.
• 15 patients died while in the hospital.
• About 100 patients were sent to a rehabilitation center or nursing home or received home healthcare.
• 30% of the ATV injuries occurred during a vehicle rollover.
• Other common causes of ATV injuries included collisions with other vehicles, collisions with stationary objects, or loss of control of the ATV.
• Patients that hadn’t been using helmets were most likely to suffer head injuries.

Also, today at the American College of Surgeons’ annual meeting, public researchers and trauma surgeons said that people are far more likely to die from an ATV accident than a motorcycle crash. When the degree of injuries is the same, ATV accident victims were 50% more likely than motorcycle collision victims to require mechanical ventilation and medical care in an ICU and 50% more likely to die.

While operator error can be a factor in causing a Massachusetts ATV accident, all-terrain vehicle accidents and rollovers can occur because the vehicle was defective or malfunctioned in some way.

Study: Brain, Spinal Injuries Due to ATV Use Rise by 50%, ClaimsJournal.com, October 5, 2010
ATVs more deadly than motorcycles, MSNBC, October 6, 2010
Related Web Resources:
ATV Laws By State, CampingATV.com
ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries for All Ages, 1985-2008, ATV Safety.gov
Contact our Boston injury lawyers today at Altman and Altman, LLP today.