Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Surprise: Two wheels safer than four in off-road riding and racing, study finds

Date:
October 7, 2010
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
In research that may surprise off-road riding enthusiasts and safety experts, researchers have found that crashes involving ATVs -- four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles -- are significantly more dangerous than crashes involving two-wheeled off-road motorcycles, such as those used in extreme sports like Motocross.

In research that may surprise off-road riding enthusiasts and safety experts, a Johns Hopkins team has found that crashes involving ATVs -- four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles -- are significantly more dangerous than crashes involving two-wheeled off-road motorcycles, such as those used in extreme sports like Motocross.
Credit: iStockphoto/Mikael Damkier

In research that may surprise off-road riding enthusiasts and safety experts, a Johns Hopkins team has found that crashes involving ATVs -- four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles -- are significantly more dangerous than crashes involving two-wheeled off-road motorcycles, such as those used in extreme sports like Motocross.

The research, to be presented at the American College of Surgeons' 2010 Clinical Congress in Washington, D.C., this week, found that victims of ATV crashes were 50 percent more likely to die of their injuries than similarly injured victims of off-road motorcycle crashes. ATV victims were also 55 percent more likely than injured motorcyclists to be admitted to a hospital's intensive-care unit and 42 percent more likely to be placed on a ventilator.

"There's a belief that four wheels must be safer than two," says Cassandra Villegas, M.P.H., a research fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Surgery Trials and Outcomes. "But we found the opposite. People involved in ATV crashes are more likely to die or suffer serious trauma."

The growing popularity of off-road vehicles in the United States has led to a steep rise in the number of injuries resulting from their use. In 2000, Villegas notes, there were 92,200 injuries involving ATVs or off-road motorcycles; in 2007, the last year for which data is available, there were 150,900 injuries. But little rigorous research has been done to determine which vehicles may be riskier than others.

ATVs and off-road motorcycles are designed for recreational use, not use on city streets, and typically are ridden on trails, sand dunes and other rough terrain.

In the first study to compare the severity of injuries sustained by ATV versus off-road motorcycle riders, Villegas and senior author Adil H. Haider, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, reviewed data on nearly 60,000 patients who suffered an injury after a crash involving one of the vehicles between 2002 and 2006.

The researchers say they don't know why ATV crashes lead to greater injury and mortality, noting they cannot trace the differences solely to helmet use even though 60 percent of motorcyclists were wearing helmets as compared to 30 percent of those in ATV crashes. Even when both types of riders had been wearing helmets, ATV riders still experienced worse injuries and outcomes than motorcyclists, Villegas says. Only a few states have laws requiring the use of a helmet when riding an ATV, says Villegas, and while motorcycle helmet laws are also determined by states, many more have helmet-use laws for motorcycles.

The researchers say it's possible that ATV riders wear less protective clothing than off-road motorcyclists when they head out, sometimes little more than shorts and a T-shirt. Another contributing factor could be the significant weight of ATVs, which can cause severe crush injuries when they land atop victims and lead to a greater likelihood of internal organ or extremity damage, Villegas says.

Villegas says that these findings may allow parents, legislators, educators and those in the ATV industry to make better decisions about the use of the off-road vehicles. She also says that studies like these could help ATV manufacturers design and implement increased safety technology in ATVs, similar to how automobile manufacturers have used research to make safer cars and trucks.

Hopkins researchers Stephen M. Bowman, Ph.D.; Eric B. Schneider, Ph.D.; Elliott R. Haut, M.D.; Kent A. Stevens, M.D., M.P.H.; and David T. Efron, M.D., contributed to this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Surprise: Two wheels safer than four in off-road riding and racing, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007132234.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2010, October 7). Surprise: Two wheels safer than four in off-road riding and racing, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007132234.htm
Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Surprise: Two wheels safer than four in off-road riding and racing, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007132234.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins