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Do helmets prevent injuries in West Virginia ATV accidents?


All-terrain vehicles are popular in West Virginia, mainly for recreational purposes. Tourists flock to the state to operate an ATV while locals use these vehicles for daily transportation. With the increased use of ATVs, it is not surprising that these vehicles are often involved in crashes or collisions. It is important to understand that ATVs and other recreational vehicles are not entirely stable. Operating such vehicles require skill and proper training to ensure safety. It is also important to wear protective gear in order to avoid serious injuries and accidents.

Based on the latest data concerning helmeted and non-helmeted cases, non-helmeted ATV operators are highly likely to be sent to hospital emergency departments after an accident, whereas helmeted riders are less likely to be taken to emergency departments. And, when helmeted riders are taken to an ER, they are often discharged early compared to non-helmeted riders. Some of the most common injuries often sustained by non-helmeted riders are facial fractures, hemorrhages, thoracic spine fractures, soft tissue, neck and head injuries.

The bottom line -- helmets can save lives. ATV operators should always wear their helmets since no one knows when an accident will occur. By wearing a helmet, ATV operators can avoid serious injuries that are often sustained by non-helmeted individuals. Some serious injuries like brain injury can change a person's life forever. People who have been involved in recreational vehicle accidents should seek immediate medical attention even though they do not have any visible injuries.

Recreational vehicle accident victims may recover damages for medical expenses and other incurred losses through personal injury claims. Just like other tort claims, these require the element of negligence of another person. If this element is present, the injured parties may proceed with filing their claim.

Source: Childrenssafetynetwork.org, "Injury prevention and recreational all-terrain vehicle use: the impact of helmet use in West Virginia," accessed on Jan. 8, 2014

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