All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) represent a notable portion of orthopaedic injuries presenting to emergency departments (EDs) in the United States. Public awareness campaigns have targeted these injuries, and this study sought to examine the effect of the 2007 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons public safety campaign on ATV use.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) was used to obtain national estimates of ATV and dirt bike injuries for the years 2000 to 2015. ED visits resulting from ATV injuries and dirt bike injuries were identified using NEISS product codes (ie, 3285-3287, 3296, and 5036). Patient demographics, injury-related data, and total annual case numbers were estimated. Chi-square tests and logistic regression were used for comparative analyses as appropriate. All statistical analyses were performed using SAS statistical software v.9.4 (SAS Institute). Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05 a priori.
Beginning in 2000, the incidence of ATV injuries consistently increased over time and peaked in 2007 (54.1/100,000 people). Since 2007, the incidence of ATV injuries has consistently decreased (33.7/100,000 people in 2015). The frequency of ATV injuries differed significantly (P < 0.001) by age group, with children aged 14 to 17 years experiencing the highest incidence of ATV injury (2.8× national average). ATV injuries were also more common in males (2.7× national average; P < 0.001). The most common injuries were contusions and abrasions (25.3%), fractures (24.5%), and lacerations (11.4%). The decreased rate of ATV injury beginning in 2007 did not differ significantly (P = 0.81) from a comparative decrease in dirt bike–related injuries.
This study provides the most current data on ATV injuries presenting to EDs in the United States. The rate of ATV-related injuries has steadily decreased since 2007, which corresponds to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons public awareness campaign. However, the reasons for this decrease are likely multifactorial. Children aged 14 to 17 years are at high risk of ATV-related injuries, with orthopaedic injuries accounting for a notable proportion.