CALGARY, Alberta - Health researchers in this Canadian province are alarmed at the increase in ATV injuries in the province and they’re urging officials to implement helmet laws and age limits.
A new study from the University of Calgary warns that without more controls, accidents will continue to rise.
“We have had very good success with drunk-driving legislation, and seatbelt legislation and helmet use,” Dr. Richard Buckley, U of C orthopaedic surgeon and researcher and one of the study’s authors, told CBC News . “We still have some areas such as ATVs where I feel we have not enough legislation to help people use these very dangerous vehicles safely.”
Alberta is one of the few provinces that has no helmet law or age limit for ATVs. It’s also the province where the most ATVs in the country are sold. Sales have increased by 50 percent in each of the last eight years. So far this ATV season, eight people have been killed in Alberta and dozens more injured, according to authorities.
The study analyzed 10 years' worth of data from hospitals across the province. In that 10-year span, there were 459 serious trauma cases, including injuries such as broken spines, broken necks and serious head injuries. There were 79 deaths. The estimated cost to the healthcare system was about $6.5 million. The study did not include broken limbs, cuts or other "less severe" injuries.
The study found the majority of those injured or killed were men 18 to 20 years old, most were not wearing helmets and about 45 percent under the influence of alcohol.
Posted by Holly Wagner
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