Make a plan to stay safe...

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

Keep A Lid On It

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND WARNING. Memorial Day Weekend is known for barbeques, campouts, and remembering our heroes. But did you know it is also known as the deadliest off-road weekend of the year?

ATV riders who do not wear helmets are more likely to receive significant injuries to the head, face, and neck.  Because serious head injury is common among fatally injured motorcyclists, helmet use is important.


Helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths.  They are about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. Yet only 19 states and the District of Columbia mandate helmet use by all riders. Just because helmets are not the law in your state, you should still wear one on all rides and you should encourage your children to wear them as well.

The Children’s Safety Network has published the following statistics:

Fatal Injuries

  • One-third of all ATV-related fatalities (n=5,239) from 1982 to 2002 were youth under 16 years.
  • Central nervous system injuries accounted for 80% of fatalities in ATV-related crashes.
  • From 1999 to 2001, there were 698 reported fatalities to youth ages 1-19 years from off-road vehicle crashes. Off-road vehicles include ATVs, snowmobiles, and hovercraft.
  • ATV operators under 16 years are nearly four times more likely than ATV operators over 16 years to experience an injury requiring emergency department treatment.
  • Helmets may reduce the risk of death by 42%.
  • Helmets may reduce the risk of nonfatal head injury by 64%.

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