Van Dyken-Rouen accident shines spotlight on ATV dangers | FOX31 Denver

This Olympic swimmer suffered a spinal cord injury while driving an ATV. This author reports 100,000 people a year seek medical attention after being injured while riding on or driving ATVs in the United States. Have you suffered a spinal cord injury? If so do not allow the ATV to be modified or to be destroyed. Insurance companies will attempt to take possession of the ATV. Once in the hands of the insurance industry the ATV will not be preserved and will likely be scrapped (destroyed) thereby denying you the opportunity to preserve this vital and valuable evidence upon which your case against the manufacture or seller will be proven.

The statistics are mind blowing. Quoting from this news article out of Fort Collins, Colorado:

An estimated 100,000 people each year seek medical care for injuries sustained in accidents with all-terrain vehicles in the United States, with a notably high death rate among agricultural ATV riders, Gilkey said.

Gilkey reported the following stats about ATV accidents in the United States:
• ATV accidents result in about 400,000 injuries each year. Of these cases, about 25 percent, or 100,000 people, need medical care.
• About 800 deaths per year result from ATV accidents.
• A child younger than 16 dies in an ATV accident once every four days.
• Agricultural ATV users account for only 20 percent of all riders, but represent 65 percent of occupational ATV-related fatalities – indicating the higher risk associated with agricultural ATV use.

Gilkey and the High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety offered the following ATV safety recommendations:
• Take the ATV RiderCourse, offered by the national, nonprofit ATV Safety Institute. Information is available at
• Stay off paved roads
• Wear appropriate personal protective equipment. More than 70 percent of the children who have died in ATV crashes were not wearing helmets.
• Check the machine for safe operation before riding. Make sure that the lights, brakes and other operating features are functioning properly.
• Make sure the rider is fitted to the unit; they come in small, medium and large sizes for kids, adolescents and adults, respectively. More than 90 percent of all child deaths in ATV accidents occurred when children were riding adult-sized ATVs.
• Take off slowly, be aware of your surroundings, and anticipate the terrain.
• Carefully follow safety recommendations when starting, stopping, turning, or riding uphill or downhill; find these recommendations on the ATV Safety Institute website,
• Unload and load your vehicle safely; get help if needed.
• Never carry multiple riders on an ATV.

A variety of other resources on ATV safety is available from the National Ag Safety Database, at

If we can help you after you suffer a spinal cord injury call us.

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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