Dirt Bike Injuries & Accidents & Deaths Statistics
When you ride a dirt bike on rough terrain, the likelihood of getting involved in an accident is high. The activities involved in dirt bike riding seem tailor-made for dare-devils, and lots of riders love riding dirt bikes for this reason. Dirt bike accidents do not affect adults only. It affects children too.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised parents with children less than 16 years old to keep their children away from dirt bikes until they are older. This is because dirt bike riding is an activity that requires skills and judgments that children might be unable to make. In some states in the United States, there is a minimum age one has to be before taking part in dirt bike riding. Some other states have to set a minimum age. However, they have made it known that an adult must be present if a child must engage in dirt bike riding. Also, all safety equipment has to be worn in the correct manner to help in any way possible protect the rider.
Here is a list of guides to help with Safety Equipment:
- Chest Protector
- Neck Brace
- Knee Brace
- Body Armor
- Knee Pads
- Elbow Pads
Dirt Bike Accidents Statistics
More than half of all dirt bike accidents that require hospitalization take place in official races. Additionally, the likelihood of being involved in an accident with Motocross and Supercross is higher than trail riding.
Body parts that are Most Affected by Dirt Bike Accidents
When dirt bike accidents occur, various parts of the body get injured. Nonetheless, some parts of the body are more prone to injuries.
Dirt biking accidents occur for different reasons. Some of them are uneven terrains, collisions with fellow riders, and falls after a jump. Additionally, when there is a dirt bike accident, the body parts that are known to get involved in trauma are the head, neck, or arm. In many cases, dirt bike accidents lead to abrasions, sprains, and fractures. Some of the most prevalent injuries in a dirt bike accident are;
- Acromioclavicular Joint: This part of the shoulder is relatively weak. Therefore, the likelihood of it getting involved in an accident is high. When it gets involved in a direct impact, the ligaments could separate.
- ACL Rupture: The ACL is the link between the shinbone and the thigh. The ACL’s rupture can occur when a dirt bike rider jumps with their knee in a bent stance. Although various ligaments of the knee get affected in off-road riding, the ACL is most affected. When the ACL is ruptured, one might have to wait as long as one year for recovery. Additionally, surgery and physiotherapy might be needed for a patient to recover from ACL rupture completely. That’s not all. The patient will need to put in a lot of dedication to recover from this injury.
- Broken Ankle: Like wrists and shoulders, ankles are susceptible to injuries when one gets involved in a dirt bike accident. When a dirt bike rider falls or collides with fellow riders, it can lead to broken ankles. Once broken, you will need a physician to realign your ankle bones before they heal correctly. Additionally, if the breakage is problematic, one might have to undergo surgery. This will be followed by casting. Rehabilitation ends with physiotherapy.
- Broken Wrist: Broken wrists take place when people fall during dirt bike accidents. It is a painful injury and can be simple or complex. Sometimes the breaks are multiple. Other times, they are clean. In simple breaks, one might not need to undergo surgery. However, when the break is complicated, surgery might be the only alternative. After surgery, the broken wrist is put in a cast for about eight weeks, and after this is physiotherapy.
- Shoulder Dislocation: The shoulder joints in the human body are complex. The shoulder tends to get dislocated when a dirt bike rider tries to break a fall with their hands. In this situation, the collarbone stays unaffected. However, the shoulder bone is not spared. The ligament in the shoulder that gets affected by a shoulder dislocation is one of the weak parts of the shoulder. The weakness of this ligament is often responsible for the dislocation of the shoulder. This injury is otherwise known as shoulder dislocation and it is very painful. The length of time one will spend trying to recover is dependent on how severe the dislocation is. After the pain from the dislocation is gone, rehabilitation begins.
- Broken Collarbone: This is a prevalent injury with dirt bike accidents. It frequently occurs because riders fall off their bikes after getting involved in an accident. After a fall, most dirt bike riders try to reduce the effect on the fall by stretching their arms. This act puts the collarbone under intense pressure which could end up breaking it. The impact of the fall on the collarbone is dependent on the speed of the fall. With very high speeds, the injury could be fatal. However, if the speed is not high, one will need to put on a splint and sling for about four to eight weeks. If the trauma is severe, surgery might be the only alternative. The patient also has to undergo physiotherapy sessions for the shoulder to get back its entire range of motion.
Dirt Bikes vs. ATV
Dirt bikes and ATVs are fun to ride. Although many people want to participate in this fun, riding a dirt bike or ATV is not free of danger. One could get involved in life-threatening accidents when riding an ATV or dirt bike. Although it is established that ATVs and dirt bikes are associated with accidents, lots of people are not sure which is safer between ATVs and dirt bikes.
As compared to dirt bikes, it appears ATVs are sturdier and more stable. Therefore, they are not expected to crash like dirt bikes. Due to this, lots of dirt bike hobbyists seem to choose ATVs over dirt bikes.
It might seem like ATVs are less prone to accidents than dirt bikes. The reverse, however, is the case. A study was carried out in 2010 by a John Hopkins team. After this study, it was discovered that dirt bikes are safer than ATVs. However, this seems very unlikely because ATVs have four wheels and dirt bikes, two wheels.
Of the people involved in ATV accidents, 50% of them were likely to get affected by trauma than riders involved in a dirt bike accident.
Additionally, riders involved in ATV accidents have a 55% chance of being taken to ICU. Their likelihood of being placed in a ventilator also is 42%.
In 2000, 92,200 rides were involved in ATV accidents. This number increased to 150,900 ATV accidents in 2007. Based on this research, ATVs are not safer than dirt bikes.
Although different studies have revealed that ATVs are not safer than dirt bikes, these diverse studies have not given a reason. While some people link the higher number of fatalities in ATV accidents to helmets, this cannot be used as a solid explanation. Regardless of this, 60% of dirt bike riders had their helmets on as compared to 30% of ATV riders. Nonetheless, in situations in which ATV and dirt bike riders had their helmets on, ATV riders picked up more severe injuries and were involved in more fatal outcomes.
The professionals involved in the research have agreed that there is a likelihood that ATV riders do not use as much equipment as dirt bike riders. There are times all they put on while riding are shorts and t-shirts. This is possible because not many states have laws that mandate the use of helmets when riding ATVs. Nonetheless, these many states that do not make it compulsory to put in helmets with ATVs have put up laws that require dirt bike riders to wear helmets. A lot of ATV riders buy ATVs because they assume it is safer than dirt bikes and do not bother putting on helmets.
ATVs are extra stable because they have four wheels. Going by this, riders do not need to worry about balance when on an ATV as they would when riding a dirt bike. Theoretically, they offer more stability and safety. While the ATV is expected to be safer, it has a design that makes it dangerous. Due to its design, riders do not have any crash protection.
It is easy for ATVs to roll over. Over the years, ATV manufacturers have added various features that have made ATVs popular. One of these features is a powerful steering. Although lots of features have been added to the ATV, nothing significant has been done about this vehicle rolling over. This means following safety guidelines and adhering to traffic lights will not keep ATV riders that are careful from getting into the same accidents as reckless ATV riders.
ATVs weigh between 650 to 850 pounds. This is considered a problem, so long as the design is concerned. The weight of an ATV is already fatal. This is excluding the momentum, as well as the force of the crash. A fall off a dirt bike will lead to injuries such as a sprain on the leg or wrists. Unlike dirt bikes, accidents usually lead to a broken back and a broken neck with an ATV. A lot of ATV injuries often involve crashes. This explains while they are very deadly.
When an ATV rider gets involved in an accident, the likelihood of the ATV ending on the rider is very high. However, in a dirt bike accident, the biker rider gets flung off the dirt bike.
Usually, dirt bikes weigh around 200 pounds. This means they will not cause as much damage to a rider as compared to an ATV hitting a rider.
As a hobbyist that is less than 16 years old, you might want to stay away from ATVs as they pose a lot of danger. According to statistics, kids do a lot better with dirt bikes than ATVs. This is because lots of parents put their children on ATVs that are not good for their age.
Unlike dirt bikes that you need to get the right size for a kid, many parents consider getting a full-size ATV for a kid cheaper. When they do this, issues of the kid outgrowing the vehicle is non-existent. This might seem reasonable economically. It ends up being fatal.
How Can Dirt Bike Riding be Made Safe?
YouTube videos make it look like riding a dirt bike is easy. Although riding a dirt bike is not very difficult, it is not as simple as YouTube videos portray it. To become good at riding a dirt bike, you will need to dedicate a lot of time. This can take some years. When you start riding a dirt bike, you will lose control and fall off the bike severally. This will continue until you master such things as body positioning, balance, and clutch control.
Dirt bike riding might be seen as a physical sport. It, however, is not just a physical activity. It is also a mental activity. Therefore, you have to depend on your memory to make it through the trails. To stay safe while riding a dirt bike, you will need to put on the right clothing and protective gear. The right clothing for riding a dirt bike is a breathable jersey that can help you say cool in hot weather. Additionally, you should put on fitting pants instead of loose-fitting ones.
It would be best if you put on a full-face helmet as this keeps your brain protected. Additionally, you will need a jaw protector that will help your jaw and teeth stay protected. You will not have to worry about ventilation with the right helmet, as overheating will be taken care of. Additionally, the right helmet should have a broad vision area. Riding is more comfortable with a better view.
In addition to putting on the right helmet, you should protect your eyes from rain, mud, and debris by wearing good quality goggles. When selecting a pair of goggles, ensure you choose one that is comfortable as you might have it on for a long time. You will also need knee braces, a neck brace, body armor, and elbow guards.