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Trauma awareness: Vehicle and ATV safety


By Mindy Olberding, Chief Nursing Officer

Since 1988, the United States has recognized the month of May as Trauma Awareness Month. This year’s theme chosen by the American Trauma Society (ATS) and The Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) is Safe and Secure – Safety is a Choice, Prevention is the Key

During the pandemic, we learned that taking preventative measures to ensure our safety against COVID-19 was important, and the same is true with trauma! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 214,000 people die each year from unintentional and violence-related injury.

CHCS encourages our communities to choose safety. Adopting some basic motor vehicle and off-highway vehicle (OHV) safety measures can help PREVENT injury and death. 

Quick facts

  • Motor vehicle crashes account for 19% of unintentional injury death in Kansas, per Kansas Trauma Program statistics between 2010 and 2015.
  • 2,311 Kansans died as a result of motor vehicle accidents between 2010 and 2015.
  • From 2015-2019, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that the U.S. had around 524,600 ER visits related to injuries from OHVs (ATVs, ROVs, &/or UTVs). 
  • The majority of the injuries suffered from OHV accidents are from those who are under 16 years of age.  

Safety measures for motor vehicles

Safety measures for off-highway vehicles (ATVs, ROVs, or UTVs)

  • Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Never ride with more passengers than there are seats. 
  • Riders younger than 16 should be supervised by an adult. These are not toys.
  • Off-road vehicles are designed to be driven only on off-road terrain, not paved surfaces.
  • Never ride on public roads except to cross where permitted by law, because another vehicle may hit you.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before or while driving an ATV, because alcohol can impair judgment and response time.
  • Get training on OHV safety:



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