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Utilizing Social Media to Better Understand All-Terrain Vehicle Uphill Incline Crashes

Monday, October 22, 2012: 1:45 PM
Versailles Ballroom (Hilton Riverside)
Morgan Price, Gerene M. C. Denning and Charles A. Jennissen, MD, FACEP, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Iowa Children's Hospital and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA

Purpose: Over the last decade, all terrain vehicle (ATV) crashes, injuries and deaths have risen more than 400%, with over 800 deaths and 130,000 ED visits every year. Rollovers have been reported as the most common mechanism. However, most injury surveillance sources provide limited data on the sequence of events during an ATV crash. This limitation provides the rationale to investigate less traditional sources such as social media sites like YouTube. The purpose of this study was to compile a video library of ATV crashes and to review these videos in order to achieve insights regarding the mechanisms and contributing factors of ATV crashes on uphill inclines.

Methods: A retrospective search of videos posted on YouTube between April 2006 and July 2011 was performed. Videos were compiled and coded according to occupant, crash, vehicle, and video parameters. Uphill incline crashes were identified and reviewed. A highly detailed account of the crash sequence, moment by moment, was created.

Results: Of 183 videos downloaded, 52 were uphill incline crashes. Almost all ATV operators in the videos were males, and 81% were adults. Helmet use was 73%. All crashes involving adolescents occurred on adult-sized vehicles. 75% of vehicles were sports ATVs and 25% were single-person utility ATVs. Major surface types shown in the videos were dirt (72%), mud (10%), and solid rock (6%). Overall, forty-three of the uphill crashes (83%) resulted in rollovers, 68% of these rollovers were backwards. A major contributor in the majority of these backward rollovers was loss of momentum followed by inappropriate acceleration. A difference between sports and utility ATVs was noted in which utility ATVs during a slower velocity backward rollover would veer to the side once the metal rack on the back hit the ground.

Conclusion: Videos from social media sites are a rich source of ATV crash mechanism information. Analysis of these videos yields significant details that are not available through other data sources. Selected videos could play an important role as an ATV educational tool as well.