Be Careful! TBI Can Result From ATV & Dirtbike Accidents

This month we brought you the News-Times story of five different all-terrain vehicle accident injuries in the state of Maryland – that all happened in just one day. In the three separate accidents, all involving teens, ATVs, and dirt bikes, summer fun was suddenly replaced with tragedy as five young people were rushed to Cumberland Memorial hospital with serious head injuries. Why do ATVs and dirt bikes often lead to closed head injuries and traumatic brain injuries? Often times, those riding off-road do not wear protective gear such as helmets. Helmets can significantly reduce the severity of a head injury, even if they cannot prevent head injuries altogether. Secondly, riding vehicles off-road also often means riding vehicles over bumps, rocks, and ditches – these varied terrains can make for a fun day of adventure and fun, but all too often these difficult paths can lead to vehicle rollovers and passenger ejection. Thirdly, riding an ATV or dirt bike off road mean that there are no official “rules of the road.” In many cases, drivers have to decide for themselves what the speed limit is and what is considered reckless driving. Those on dirt bike courses may collide with each other. Those on ATVs may drive faster than is considered safe, resulting in serious injury. Finally, off-road vehicle drivers may try “stunts” with their ATVs or dirt bikes, sometimes involving jumps or other obstacles. All too often, these dare devil moments can lead to serious, debilitating, and even deadly head injuries and brain damage.