Illegal urban off-road vehicles as risky as motorcycles in cities

October 10, 2019

People who illegally ride off-road vehicles, such as dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles, on city streets suffer similar crash injuries as motorcyclists, but are less likely to die even though many riders don't wear helmets, according to a Rutgers researcher.

With more off-road vehicles being ridden in urban areas, understanding the types of injuries involved in crashes will help emergency medical providers and trauma surgeons provide better care.

The study, published in The Journal of Surgical Research, is the first to compare the types of injuries sustained by people involved in crashes riding off-road vehicles versus motorcycles in urban areas.

Researchers looked at 1,556 people who were injured riding off-road vehicles or motorcycles on paved inner city, suburban or major roadways and were admitted to a trauma center in Camden, N.J., from 2005 to 2016.

The study found that crash victims in both modes of transportation had similar rates of traumatic brain injuries and levels of consciousness following these injuries. It also found that motorcyclists without helmets were at a higher risk of traumatic brain injury when compared to urban off-road vehicle riders without helmets. In addition, motorcyclists had more chest injuries, while off-road vehicles riders had more facial injuries, which researchers attribute to their not wearing helmets.

The average age of off-road riders in the study was 26, almost 15 years younger than motorcyclists whose average age was 39. While 90 percent of those riding motorcycles wore helmets, they still required more emergency surgeries and had a higher death rate than the off-road riders, of which only 39 percent wore helmets.

"This could be attributed to the older age of motorcycle riders and the likelihood that motorcycles were more frequently used at higher speeds at the time of the crash," said lead author Christopher Butts, a trauma surgeon at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, who worked in collaboration with trauma surgeons at Cooper University Health Care.

New Jersey requires helmets for motorcyclists but not for riders of dirt bikes or all-terrain vehicles. "The people who are riding off-road vehicles in urban areas are used to not wearing helmets and are already breaking the law by riding these vehicles on the street," Butts said.

"Although our data suggest a lower mortality rate in urban off-road vehicle riders, the lack of helmet use in this young group is still concerning," he said. "We hope this study will highlight the seriousness of off-road vehicle in urban areas and guide strategies to decrease this dangerous practice."

Rutgers University

Related Injuries Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 frequently causes neurological injuries
Without directly invading the brain or nerves, the virus responsible for COVID-19 causes potentially damaging neurological injuries in about one in seven infected, a new study shows.

Head and neck injuries make up nearly 28% of all electric scooter accident injuries
A Henry Ford study is sounding the alarm on the rise of electric scooter injuries, and particularly head and neck injuries, since the 2017 introduction of e-scooter rideshare programs in urban centers.

Reasons for football injuries
If professional footballers are out of action due to injuries, this can have serious consequences for the club.

Glass tables can cause life-threatening injuries
Faulty glass in tables can cause life-threatening injuries, according to a Rutgers study, which provides evidence that stricter federal regulations are needed to protect consumers.

Concerns over police head injuries
Head injuries may be worryingly common among police officers, according to a new pilot study led by the University of Exeter.

Firework-related eye injuries
Emergency department data were used to describe the number, type, severity and factors associated with firework-related eye injuries that occurred in the United States from 1999 to 2017.

Injuries from motorized scooters
Motorized scooters are increasingly popular and, in this study, researchers analyzed medical information for 61 adults who visited a single emergency department with scooter-related injuries.

Children's fingertip injuries could signal abuse
Many children who suffer fingertip injuries have been abused, according to a Rutgers study.

Cell phone injuries
Cell phones are mainstays of daily life. This observational study analyzed 20 years of data on people who went to emergency departments with head and neck injuries from cell phone use to estimate the number of injuries, learn what types of injuries there were, and understand how the injuries occurred, such as from distracted driving or walking.

New study looks at motorized scooter injuries
More than half of people who received X-rays or CT scans after electric scooter accidents were found to have injuries, most commonly to the upper extremities, according to a new study.

Read More: Injuries News and Injuries Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to