Off-highway vehicles (OHVs) are made up of three main types of vehicles: All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs), and Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs). All of these vehicles carry risks of serious injury and death when not used properly or with the appropriate safety equipment and all of these vehicles could be made safer with a few common sense design changes.
Each year as the temperature rises, the reported number of all-terrain vehicle (ATV)-related incidents also increases. It is just a matter of time before we start hearing of ATV accidents in the Northwest Florida area. There are places in the country that are already seeing a spike in ATV accidents and we haven't even hit the middle of summer. In Tennessee, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has already seen close to 10 ATV trauma-related admissions since April of this year. According to Purnima Unni, MPH, CHES, Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program Manager at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, "Two common things we see with our ATV trauma admissions are that they are not wearing helmets and they are either carrying passengers or are a passenger themselves. Both scenarios can result in serious injuries."
The Northwest Florida Daily News reports that a 9-year-old Bonifay boy died after he was ejected from his ATV Sunday afternoon. According to the news agency, the boy was traveling northbound on a 2005 Artic Cat ATV on a road in Bonifay, while a UTV with two 13-year-old girls and a 12-year-old girl were just ahead of him. The girl's vehicle stopped in the roadway due to a group of dogs running in the road. The nine-year-old turned to avoid the UTV, but still crashed into it. The boy was thrown from the vehicle and into a ditch, where the ATV then ran over him. The boy was transported to Doctor's Memorial Hospital where he died of injuries. Neither the 13-year-old girl nor her passengers, who were 12 and 13, were injured, the report said. FHP is investigating the accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this 9-year-old who died tragically.