Twelve-year review of urban versus rural off-road vehicle injuries at a Level 1 Trauma Center

Christopher A. Butts, Roberto Gonzalez, Linh Nguyen, John P. Gaughan, Steven Ross, John Porter, Joshua P. Hazelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Traditionally, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and dirt bikes (DBs) have been used in rural locations for recreation and work. Recently, there has been an increase in the use of these vehicles in an urban environment. The aim of this study is to compare the injury patterns of patients involved in crashes while riding off-road vehicles in both urban (UORV) and rural (RORV) environment. Methods: A retrospective review (2005-2016) of patients who presented to an urban level 1 trauma center as a result of any ATV or DB crash was performed. UORV was defined as any ATV or DB accident that occurred on paved inner city, suburban, or major roadways. RORV was defined as those accidents that occurred on secondary roadways or off-road. Patients who presented more than 48 h from time of accident were excluded. A P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Five hundred and twenty-eight patients were identified to have an ATV or DB injury (RORV n = 296 [56%]; UORV n = 232 [44%]). UORV accidents had a higher Injury Severity Score (12.2 versus 9.7; P < 0.05), lower presenting Glasgow Coma Scale (13.8 versus 14.3; P < 0.05), more likely to need emergent trauma bay procedures (28.5% versus 17.9%; P < 0.05), were less likely to have been helmeted (39.6% versus 71.2%; P < 0.05) with a higher unhelmeted Abbreviated Injury Scale head of ≥3 (13.5% versus 5%; <0.05), and more likely to have extremity injuries (53.5% versus 41.2%; P < 0.05). There were no significant differences in additional injury patterns or hospital outcomes including mortality for the two groups. Conclusions: Our data suggest that UORV use was associated with decreased helmet use, higher mean Injury Severity Score, lower presenting Glasgow Coma Scale, an increased need for emergent trauma bay procedures, higher unhelmeted Abbreviated Injury Scale head scores, and higher rates of extremity injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-334
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jan 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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