267319 Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Injury in ATV-Related Crashes (All Terrain Vehicles) in Southern Arizona

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jack Hannallah, MD, MPH, MBA , College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Daniel Judkins, RN, MS, MPH , Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Coy Collins, RN , Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Julie Wynne, MD, MPH , Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Rifat Latifi, MD , Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Randall Friese, MD , Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Peter Rhee, MD, MPH , Depart of Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Terence O'Keeffe, MB, ChB, MSPH , Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Background: ATV-related crashes have increased dramatically over recent years in Southern Arizona. Currently, few studies outline risky behaviors contributing to this increase. We hypothesized that the increase in ATV-related injuries could be from riders engaging in potentially modifiable risky behaviors.

Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted on trauma patients presenting after ATV crashes at a level one trauma center. Consenting patients completed a 42-question survey, evaluating riding behaviors and experience.

Results: 101 patients were included in the study; 80% were male and 20% were under 18 years of age. 100% of riders under 18 were unhelmeted, despite Arizona's mandatory pediatric helmet law. 68% of riders surveyed stated that ATV riding is inherently risky, but 37% reported a prior ATV-related injury. There was a significant difference in the use of safety equipment between riders who underwent formal training (11% of respondents) and those who did not (89% of respondents); 49% if trained, versus 9% of untrained riders. Nevertheless, 52% of injured patients reported more than five years of riding experience. Survey respondents reported alcohol use only 24% of the time, however 46% reported driving at excessive speeds. 69% of injured riders planned to continue riding, but unfortunately only 75% stated they would alter their future riding behaviors.

Conclusion: Legislation and riding experience appear to play minor roles in decreasing the incidence of ATV-related injuries. Novel strategies to reduce the burden of ATV-related injuries are sorely needed, such as using the crash event as a “teachable” moment to induce behavior change.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify attributable risk factors associated with injured ATV riders Compare the prevalence of wearing safety gear while riding an ATV versus driving an automobile Discuss the prevalence/use of safety equipment in formally trained versus self-taught riders Demonstrate the paradoxical findings of ATV accidents in relation to years of experience Describe potential interventions to decrease ATV-related morbidity and mortality in adult and pediatric population

Keywords: Risky Behaviors, Motor Vehicles

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a co-investigator for this study, I have personally developed and administered the questionnaire, submitted for IRB approval, and analyzed the data. I have attended several stakeholders meetings and worked very closely with expert riders, ATV safety activists, and expert researchers in the field. As a note, part of the early results from this study were presented as a quick-shot abstract at the American Surgical Congress meeting in February 2011.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.