It’s no secret that Canadians love their ATVs. When the winter snow recedes the snowmobiles go back into the garage and ATVs replace them as a beloved source of entertainment and a reliable tool. In a country with as much wilderness and agriculture space as Canada, ATVs are a perfectly suited to work as a means of transportation, as well.
However, attorneys like those at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers in Toronto can tell you that with so many ATVs in use, it’s no surprise that a large number of Canadians get injured riding their ATVs. CIHI.ca reports:
They’re fast and fun, but there’s a flip side to four-wheelers.
Our data shows that the number of serious injuries involving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) is growing faster than that for any other major type of wheel- or water-based activity.
In 2009–2010, there were nearly 3,400 hospitalizations for ATV injuries across Canada—a 31% increase since 2001–2002.
That doesn’t include people who were injured and treated at a walk-in clinic, an emergency department or by their family doctor or those who died of their injuries at the scene.
Almost every jurisdiction has seen injuries rise. Hospitalizations in Alberta rose from 576 in 2001 to 868 in 2009, while in British Columbia, ATV-related admissions increased from 213 to 493 over the same period.
“Those two provinces are really driving the increase up quite a bit,” says Patricia Sidhom, CIHI’s Primary Health Care Information and Clinical Registries program lead.
In particular, young people are very susceptible to ATV injuries. Because the vehicles are not generally meant for you kids to be riding them, they can be very unsafe for children. However, the laws surrounding youth riding ATVs are fairly lax, and because of the geography of places where ATVs are commonly used, often not enforced.
In Ontario, a region served by Neinstein and Associates personal injury lawyers, ATV accidents cause a great deal of financial stress on both injury victims and the province in general. According to AllOntario.ca:
On average, more than 15 people each day are seen in Ontario emergency departments for injuries related to ATVs. In the 2005/06 ﬁscal year, there were 5,584 Emergency Department visits (47.1/100,000) and 579 (4.8/100, 000) hospitalizations for ATV related injuries.
Some ATV injuries statistics:
Of those hospitalized, 78% were discharged home, 10% were discharged home with support services and approximately 1% died in the ED.
The majority of those presenting at the ED or being hospitalized were ATV drivers.
The most common injuries for ED visits and hospitalizations were those to the lower limbs (knee, lower leg, ankle and foot). Lower leg fracture was the most common injury for ED visits and hospitalizations followed by fracture of the shoulder and upper arm.
The highest overall rates of ATV injuries were reported in Northern Ontario.
Males represented 80% of ED visits and 83% of hospitalizations for ATV injuries.
Males and females 10–24 years represented the highest number and rate of ED visits and hospitalizations for ATV injuries.
Males 15–19 years had the highest number of ED visits (935) and hospitalizations (87) for all age groups and for both males and females – more than three times that of females.
If you’ve been hurt in an ATV accident in Ontario, consider calling a personal injury lawyer like Neinstein and Associates for help. Until then, consider following safety instructions such as the ones listed in the video below: