Emergency physicians caution hunters: Always wear a helmet when operating an ATV

Debbie Ostrander

 (435) 716-5309

 debbie.ostrander@imail.org

 8/26/2011

Archery hunting season is now underway in Utah, with several additional hunting seasons starting September 1, and elk and deer hunting seasons opening in the following weeks. Most hunters are conscious of the importance of weapon safety and general safety precautions during this season. The emergency physicians at Logan Regional Hospital caution hunters to adopt another important safety practice: Wear a helmet.

“Many hunters utilize ATV vehicles,” said William B. Evans, M.D., Logan Regional emergency medicine physician. “We have seen situations where hunters are seriously injured or die because they weren’t wearing helmets. ATV accidents usually occur when the rider is traveling on angled surfaces and gong too fast. In the case of an ATV accident, most people can recover from fractured arms or legs or cracked ribs. But most people don’t recover from a serious head injury. There is no room for error.”

Dr. Evans urges parents to be extra protective of teen ATV drivers. “Young people are often less experienced and it is hard to control something larger than they are,” he said.

Wearing a helmet is equally important for on-road and off-road motorcycle drivers. In the first two months of summer 2011, the Logan Regional Emergency Room treated 43 ATV and motorcycle injury victims, a number that is average for the past two years.

Of course, gun and hunter safety steps are always extremely important for hunters of every age. All individuals born after December 31, 1965, are required to take a basic hunter safety course before obtaining a hunting permit. Cache Valley Hunter Education Center offers comprehensive hunting and gun safety classes. Their phone number is (435) 753-6400.
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