Logic suggests that farm equipment and even horse-and-buggy roadway incidents would far outnumber ATV accidents, especially in rural areas. If you believe that, you'd be wrong.
Penn State Extension Ag Safety Specialist Dennis Murphy recently studied road crashes involving all three, based on incidents reported to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in 2008 and 2009. ATV accidents incidents triple that of farm equipment and quadruple that of horse and buggy incidents.
So take this test and learn
Q: ATV accidents are most likely when the birds and the bees are flying. Yes or no?
A: Yes. ATV crashes are more likely to occur between May and September, and least likely December through February
Q: More ATV collisions happen as sideswipes than hitting a fixed object. Yes or no?
A: No. Failure to watch for and avoid hitting a stationary object (32%) was most likely, followed by a tipping over accident (30%), then a sideswipe collision (27%).
Q: Most crashes occur after sunset or in the dark night. Yes or no?
A: If you thought so, sorry. Some 62% occurred in broad daylight, suggesting that only carelessness or poor judgment were involved.
Q: Testosterone-driven macho males were the most likely crash victims. Yes or no?
A: Yes. Some 85% of the ATV drivers were males of an average age of 29 – older guys acting like younger guys. But 37% of the drivers were 19 years old or younger. Only 12% were 14 years old or younger. Only 6% were age 60 or older.
Q: Where other factors – road conditions, dumb pedestrian actions or vehicle failures – major contributors to the accidents?
A: Sorry. None of them could be used as extenuating circumstances. Some 56% involved aggressive driving; 38% were speed-related; 25% involved driver drinking; 3% involved a distracted ATV operator.
And 28% of them resulted in an overturned ATV. Without a roll-bar, it really had to hurt. But that's why 32% suffered major injuries or death.