Primary Presenter: Gerene Denning, PhD, Director of Emergency Medicine Research, University of Iowa.
Additional Authors: Charles Jennissen, MD, Emergency Medicine, University of Iowa.
1) Increase audience knowledge and awareness of side-by-side crashes as a safety and public health concern.
2) Promote audience understanding of the major characteristics of side-by-side crashes, both occupational and recreational.
3) Provide insights for advocacy purposes related to evidence-based public policy designed to decrease side-by-side deaths and injuries.
Background: ATV crashes have long been recognized as a public health concern, with >800 deaths and >400,000 injuries each year in the U.S. alone. Off-road vehicles called side-by-sides have more recently been growing in popularity, but little is currently known about the impact of their use.
Objective: To determine the epidemiology, mechanisms and outcomes of side-by-sides crashes.
Methods: Descriptive and comparative analyses were performed using data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission ROV database (2003-2011).
Results: The database contained 428 crashes with 899 occupants. Two-thirds of crashes occurred at speeds <20 mph and 12% were occupational. For operators, 81% were male, 25% were under 18 and alcohol use was highly common (49%). Seatbelt and helmet use were 31% and 5%, respectively, and the major mechanism of injury was rollovers with ejection. Ejection increased the likelihood of death by over 10-fold. Occupational and recreational crashes were similar, except lower proportions of passengers and alcohol use for the former.
Conclusions. These data provide important insights into the safety of side-by-sides. Although likely to be more stable than ATVs, rollovers, including at low speeds, appear to be the major crash mechanism and lack of seatbelts is a significant contributor to risk of death.
A/V needed: LCD Projector/Laptop
Oral presentation, 30 minutes