Time to assess ATV safety following spike in injury rates:

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Time to assess ATV safety following spike in injury rates:

Post by Woodglue »

This is occurring up in Canada, and it seems to be growing into a bigger and bigger issue. I now see an article or two each month about it [relative to one every two months in the US]. But, we all know, what goes around comes around. :?
The Canadian Press wrote: Time to assess ATV safety following spike in injury rates: doctor
19 hours ago

FREDERICTON - A doctor who has seen more than her share of young people killed in accidents involving snowmobiles, dirt-bikes and other off-road vehicles says it is time for Canada to assess whether the machines represent an unacceptable risk for recreational users.

Dr. Natalie Yanchar, director of trauma care at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, said Thursday she was not surprised by a new report that shows a 25 per cent increase in the number of people hospitalized from the mid-1990s to 2005.

The report, released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, says that all-terrain vehicles, otherwise known as ATVs or four-wheelers, are behind the sharp increase because the number of hospitalizations stemming from snowmobile accidents actually dropped 20 per cent over that period.

The report found that teenagers and young adults, mostly male, are bearing the brunt of the accidents, with adolescents aged 15 to 19 sustaining the largest proportion of injuries. They are followed closely by young adults, aged 20 to 24.

"There has to be an examination as to whether these are safe products for recreational activities in Canada," said Yanchar, whose trauma centre treats injured children from around the Maritimes.

"Federally, we have to look at this. Is it an acceptable risk?"

The report says most hospitalizations caused by accidents on off-road vehicles and snowmobiles involve multiple injuries.

Nearly one in five off-road vehicle-related hospitalizations involve injuries to the head, while those admitted for a snowmobile-related injury are more likely to suffer from a fractured vertebra, rib or sternum.

Yanchar said the head and spinal injuries are particularly devastating and cost the Canadian health-care system millions of dollars, not to mention the untold suffering of the individuals and their families.

She said that in addition to the injuries, between 140 and 180 Canadians are killed each year in off-road and snowmobile accidents.

"I'm not saying we should bubble wrap our kids," Yanchar said.

"You have to let them take some risk because it's part of growing up. However, we have to decide how much risk is acceptable. So having 800 Canadians killed on these machines in five years, is that acceptable or is that too much risk? . . . As recreational vehicles, they're dangerous products."
Several provinces, including Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, have recently tightened legislation governing ATV use by children, and Nova Scotia has seen a drop in injury rates since making the change.

In New Brunswick, new provisions limiting children under 14 to only closed track driving have yet to be proclaimed. Government officials expect them to be in force by next spring.

The changes in New Brunswick followed two tragic deaths in 2005. In one case, a 10-year-old boy in western New Brunswick died after the four-wheeler he was driving flipped over and pinned him.

Just two weeks earlier, a 13-year-old girl was killed in a similar accident in northern New Brunswick.

Despite the deaths and the grim statistics, ATV enthusiasts in New Brunswick remain convinced that it is better to let children drive the machines to gain experience.

"You can't take a kid at 16 years, sit him on an 800 cc machine and say, 'There you go'," said Troy Gallagher of the Grand Lake ATV Club near Fredericton. =D>

"These laws are taking away the opportunity for young kids to learn the proper stuff."

Gallagher said one of the big problems lies in the manufacture of the off-road vehicles, which are becoming bigger, heavier and more powerful.

"When you're out doing a trail ride,you're not going any faster than 30 or 35 kilometres an hour through the woods," he said.

"Well, these machines now are equipped to go up over 100 kilometres. They're getting so big and so high, if they tip over, they're heavy and a lot of people get pinned under them . . . It has to come back to proper training."

The institute states that in accidents where blood-alcohol levels were checked, 27 per cent involved people whose blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit of .08 per cent.

More than 90 per cent of injured people whose blood alcohol level was over the limit were drivers of the off-road vehicle.

The institute states that while off-road vehicles are an important part of rural life, they need to be used with care.

"In many rural and remote communities across the country, snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles are used not only for recreation, but also as an essential mode of transportation," said Margaret Keresteci, the institute's manager of clinical registries.

"These machines can reach high speeds and often travel on rough terrain, so the impact of a fall or a collision can be quite dramatic."
Do you think Canada is behind the US in these types of discussions, or are they the front-runners here and this reflect what-is-yet-to-come for us?

One thing for sure, none of this is type of Press is good for the Canadian ATV / OHV Community!
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Post by Rekd »

I've been covering this for a few days now. I've been writing to news sites, and even to the company that did the study to ask why they refuse to show the statistics about the 300% increase in ATVs in use in that same period that had a 25% increase in injuries.

Unfortunately, I'm only one person, with very small web sites and a quiet voice. I've been thinking about trying to get some backing from some of the big boys because it seems nobody else is covering this.

I'm starting to think that I may be fighting a losing battle.

http://www.undermyhelmet.com/50226711/i ... sitics.php


http://amusingscribe.com/index.php?opti ... 9&Itemid=1
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Post by Sandcock »

IMO, and as I relate back many years to those days of my youth, males from the early teens through their mid 20's do not have a sense of fear. Most don't think about the dangers and consequences of what it is they may be doing, i.e. sustaining injuries and even death. That's the warrior at heart in males.....that's who we are. That's why we have gals, i.e. they have the sense to tell us to be careful and the mothers of our children keep us in check when we get to carried away and put our children in harms way.

Stupid is what stupid does if one gets hurt or killed due to irresponsibility. I would imagine that almost every US State and Canada has helmet laws. Would I be correct Rekd? If one chooses to not wear it, or chooses to get intoxicated, or chooses to do what ever other unsafe act that there is, well it is their choice. The law of averages will eventually catch up to them. The eduaction, laws and regulations, and plain old common sense is available to each and everyone. It's a matter of choice.

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Post by Rekd »

Sandcock wrote:... males from the early teens through their mid 20's do not have a sense of fear. Most don't think about the dangers and consequences of what it is they may be doing, i.e. sustaining injuries and even death. That's the warrior at heart in males.....that's who we are. ...
Agreed. But it doesn't stop there. The average age in that report is (if I recall*) 32 years old. That tells me it's more lack of awareness of the real threat. Kids will do it anyway. Adults not so much.

:edit: Went back and re-read the press release, they combined the top two age groups to present that information as "teens and young adults". How funny. Not. :|
I would imagine that almost every US State and Canada has helmet laws. Would I be correct Rekd?
No. Not all states have helmet laws. For off road OR on road. Not all states have them for kids either, which really shocks me.

If one chooses to not wear it, or chooses to get intoxicated, or chooses to do what ever other unsafe act that there is, well it is their choice.
While I generally agree with that statement, not all parents are responsible enough to look at ATVs as a viable threat to their kids. Should those parents be trusted with their kid's lives because they are either too ignorant or too stupid to know better?

Should the state require them to wear helmets? If so, what's to stop them from requiring them to wait until 16 to set bottom on an ATV? That's what I'm afraid of. And press like this only makes that happen faster.

Either way, I'm sick and ****ing tired of seeing this kind of blatant lying when it comes to ATV stats and their mis-use to try to get kids banned from ANY sized ATV, or get ATVs banned from all public land, or regulated even on private land etc. :evil:

*
This is the original press release (as far as I can tell) that all the other news stories out today are coming from.

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/arch ... c8509.html
A person hospitalized for ATV-related injuries in 2004-2005 was, on average, 32 years old.
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Post by MR. PETE »

Here is another point I believe will influence the decisions of the people in government.
...and cost the Canadian health-care system millions of dollars,
This is another reason we (USA) should fight against government provided health care.

This may seem off topic, but I do not think so.

A government run health care system will eventually allow the government to dictate to us what we can and cannot do with our lifestyle, our types of recreational choices and what kind of foods we will eat; all being done for the benefit of living a better, safer life.

Rekd wrote:
Either way, I'm sick and ****ing tired of seeing this kind of blatant lying when it comes to ATV stats and their mis-use to try to get kids banned from ANY sized ATV, or get ATVs banned from all public land, or regulated even on private land etc.
Agreed.

Did I understand the numbers right? 800 people injured over 5 years?

Tragic as injuries and deaths are, with a population of about 32.6 million, could this alarm be a little bit overboard? It's no surprise though.

Although important, there is more at stake here than just the preservation of recreational opportunities.

I hope we are paying attention to the bigger picture too.
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Post by RX 4 INSANDITY »

Did I understand the numbers right? 800 people injured over 5 years?
No, I don't think you did. That would be 800 Deaths. :( :( :( :( :( :(

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Post by Washroad »

Statistically, 800 deaths in a population of 32.6million is less than .0025%, less than .0005% per year.
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Post by MR. PETE »

RX 4 INSANDITY wrote:
Did I understand the numbers right? 800 people injured over 5 years?
No, I don't think you did. That would be 800 Deaths. :( :( :( :( :( :(

--Mike
:oops: I stand corrected - (That's what I meant to write... ](*,) :oops:)

800 deaths are too many, but Washroad made the point:
Statistically, 800 deaths in a population of 32.6million is less than .0025%, less than .0005% per year.
Somehow these over all percentages don't seem to matter much.
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