For many people, an ATV is a vehicle that can be fun for recreation, but also a necessary mode of transportation in some off-road areas. While these vehicles are generally safe when operated correctly, they can be dangerous when not.
The majority of serious injuries and fatalities that are suffered by drivers and passengers of ATVs happen to children who are under the age of 16. With the COVID-19 epidemic closing down many schools, many children are using the vehicles recreationally.
News 4 Jax reports that there has been a spike in the number of children suffering from ATV injuries.
Dr. Marie Crandall, the professor of surgery at UF College of Medicine in Jacksonville, stated that compared with previous years, there has been an increase in the number of children with ATV-related injuries.
Crandall said that each month, there are up to three injuries while children are in school. However, this year, doctors have seen five to ten injuries a month and up to three fatalities each month due to traumatic brain injuries.
In April, Yulee High School football player Alex Murphy died after fighting to survive for weeks following an ATV accident in Nassau County. In March, three teens from Clay County were injured and hospitalized after a crash involving two ATVs.
Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, Donovan Parker and two other teenagers were injured when the ATV they were riding struck a brick mailbox.
Crandall stressed the importance of riders and drivers wearing a helmet and parental supervision when children are driving an ATV.