Utah ranks number one in United States for ATV child injuries

Jul 1, 2021, 4:08 PM
utah atv injuries...
Justin Marian, 14, jumps into the air on his ATV while rinding trails in south Utah County. photo by Dan Lund 04/29/03 (Submission date: 04/30/2003)
(Submission date: 04/30/2003)

SALT LAKE CITY– Utah ranks number one in the United States on a list involving ATV child injuries. 

Jessica Strong, the Community Health Manager at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital explains the Beehive State has the highest number of children seriously injured when it comes to All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) accidents.

At a press conference Thursday morning, Strong said “we saw a 34% increase in traumatic injuries between 2019 and 2020.”  Current trends show 2021 is on track to surpass that number.

ATV injuries take life of Utah child 

Former Utah state legislator and ATV safety advocate Karen Hale said her daughter Chelsea, died from an ATV accident. 

One evening Chelsea went ATV riding with friends. Hale said, “we received a phone call late at night saying there was an accident and to get to the hospital.” But her daughter wasn’t there. Hale explained doctors and staff told her, “Chelsea was never delivered to the hospital. She died at the scene. I learned she wasn’t wearing a helmet. She was taken directly to the mortuary.”

Karen Hale said the man who investigated her daughter’s accident contacted her several years later. Hale learned the size of the ATV needs to match the size of the rider, and the amount of weight on a vehicle affects how it handles.  

Hale stated she and her husband also stressed the importance of safety and wearing helmets.  

Safety experts advise ATV education 

Chris Hallar, the Off Highway Vehicle Program Coordinator at the Utah Department of Resources, said “education may be required for anyone 16 years and younger to ride an ATV, but it is open to everyone.”

Hallar stated there are 80,000 miles of trails and riders need to take responsibility for knowing how to operate a vehicle and be safe while doing so.

“Just take eight precious seconds to make an investment in their [your kid’s] lives in order to ensure their safety,” said Hallar.  “That’s three seconds simply to click a seatbelt in a UTV or side-by-side. And five additional seconds to buckle their helmet.”

One family was lucky

Two parents from Las Vegas, Jessica and Beau, spoke about a serious accident, which they say should have claimed the life of their daughter, Amelia.

According to Jessica, her daughter was riding a Razor ATV when she lost control and it rolled on top of her.  Not only was an emergency nurse riding in the area, but there was also a satellite phone at the cabin where they were staying.

Jessica said Amelia was life-flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital where she was placed in a medically induced coma. Doctors advised the family the prognosis was very poor as both of Amelia’s lungs were collapsed and her trachea was detached.

“The only reason Amelia survived was because she was wearing a full-face helmet,” Jessica indicated. 

Amelia’s father, Beau added “we should’ve had other safety measures in place for when our kids weren’t riding with us. It was a miracle Amelia is still with us and able to do backflips now.”

Avoiding ATV injuries in Utah 

Strong wrapped up the press conference with a strong advisory. 

“Make sure both you and your children know how to ride. Stick to the correct number of riders for each vehicle. Protect yourself with other safety gear,” said Strong. 

For a more complete list of safety items and for ATV education, click here.


Today’s Top Stories


A police officer holds a gun. Mass shootings, like the one in Uvalde, prompted the gun buyback prog...
Martha Harris

New poll gives insight on what Utahns think causes mass shootings

Even before the mass shootings in Uvalde and Highland Park, the question of what causes these attacks has had a spotlight.
16 hours ago
A screenshot of a facebook post made to the parents of Macie Hill....
Mark Jones

Father of girl who died in Kaysville parade is thankful for those who helped

An 8-year-old girl died Monday in an accident during the Kaysville Fourth of July Parade. Her father is thankful for all who assisted his daughter.
2 days ago
A German Shepard lays on the ground...
Mark Jones

Dog dies after being left in hot car for more than an hour

A dog died Tuesday after being left in a hot car for more than an hour, according to Salt Lake County Animal Services.
2 days ago
A house in Spanish Fork was on fire late Monday night....
Mark Jones

Spanish Fork house catches fire after fireworks not properly extinguished

Officials said a house fire in Spanish Fork was a result of recently used fireworks not being disposed of properly. No serious injuries were reported.
2 days ago
Utah Highway Patrol stopped 4,937 vehicles over the Fourth of July weekend....
Mark Jones

Busy Fourth of July weekend for Utah Highway Patrol

In statistics released Tuesday, the Utah Highway Patrol says its Troopers made contact with 4,937 drivers over the Fourth of July weekend, making it a busy one.
2 days ago
Utah County Sheriff's Office badge....
Mark Jones

As one blaze is nearly contained, new Soldier Fire starts up

The Soldier Fire started up Tuesday in Utah County. According to Utah Fire Info, the blaze is near Highway 68 at milepost 15.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Utah ranks number one in United States for ATV child injuries