Methods: ATV crash newspaper reports were collected prospectively via press clipping services for nine Midwest/Great Plains states in 2009 and 2010. Event circumstances were analyzed. Data was compared to that available from the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).
Results: Press clippings captured over 90% of state fatalities as reported by the CPSC. ATV-related fatalities were 84% males, and 16% were children under 16 years. Approximately 1 in 4 victims were wearing a helmet. The majority of crashes (52%) occurred during compromised light conditions (dusk/night/dawn). Over half occurred on Saturday and Sunday. More than 1 in 10 fatal crashes involved vehicle-vehicle collisions (15%) or being pinned by the vehicle (11%). For over 90% of crash victims, newspaper reports provided age, gender, seating position, time/day of the event, type of path (road, trail, or off-road), and surface type. Vehicle-related parameters (e.g., vehicle model, engine size), speed at the time of the event, and weather conditions were poorly documented. Annual fatality rates were higher than the overall average (1.0 deaths/100,000 rural population) for MN (1.2), MO (1.3), NE (1.4), and ND (1.4).
Conclusion: Newspapers comprehensively capture ATV-related deaths in multiple states and provide information not readily available from other sources. Although limitations exist, press clippings could be a valuable source of information for an integrated ATV surveillance database.