Following deadly crash in Pharr, experts offer ATV safety tips
A local doctor and motor sports store is reminding the public about the dangers of ATVs following a deadly crash over the weekend.
A woman was killed and a man was injured in Pharr after they fell into a canal while riding an ATV.
From January 2019 to May 2021, the state saw nearly 6,000 ATV crashes, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Adrenaline Motor Sports McAllen sells more than 100 ATV's a year, employee Eduardo Velasco said, and they include some of the warnings and priority instructions before selling one.
"It’s very common that when we sell an ATV, we guide them through all restrictions and safety, especially when ATV's will be driven by kids,” Velasco said in Spanish. “We tell parents speed can also be regulated.”
According to DPS data, Texas saw 45 ATV deaths in the past two years, most of them young adults. Warning labels, law requirements, age reminders all in place, but what some still choose to ignore.
One local trauma surgeon says summer is when they see more ATV accidents and injuries.
"Of course it's going to depend on how the mechanism happened, but if you’re not wearing your helmet, your head is going to get the hit,” said Dr. Carlos Palacio, a trauma surgeon at South Texas Health System. “There might be a possibility you might end up being a vegetable; there might be a possibility that you might die."
Other common injuries are bone and rib fractures, concussions and internal organ damage.
"It's mostly young adults, and it's even worse when there is alcohol involved into driving these ATV's because the accidents tend to be worse."
Dr. Palacio says most of his injured ATV patients are under 30, and a few are under 16. But he says none of them were wearing a helmet or other special equipment.
"And if they are minors, as a parent you should know where your kid is, because at the end of day you are going to be liable for anything that happens to your kid," Dr. Palacio continued.
Another safety feature some ATV's now have is an at- distance control pad for parents, which allows an ATV to be shut off remotely with one click.
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