Doctors urge helmet use during peak ATV injury season

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After an ATV crash killed a young man in Maury County this week, medical experts are urging riders to follow safety protocols.

Steven Favinger, 18, died Wednesday when his ATV collided with a dump truck on Blue Springs Road outside of Columbia.

So far in 2017, emergency rooms at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt have seen 48 combined admissions from ATV crashes.

About half of those admissions were head injuries.

Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui (Photo: WKRN)

Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui, Trauma Medical Director at Vanderbilt, said the easiest way to prevent a head injury is to wear a helmet.

“For every person that’s got a helmet on, they’re going to have a better outcome than those that don’t,” said Dr. Guillamondegui. “In the State of Tennessee, even though helmets are not required for ATVs, the best advice I can give any parent or adult, is wear a helmet.”

Riders are also urged to abide by age restrictions for different size ATVs.

Colin Preiser, sales manager at America’s Motorsports on Eighth Avenue South in Nashville, added safety is a priority.

“When you come in and buy one, the sales person, the parts guys you talk to, everybody is going to really push to get all of the safety gear,” said Preiser. Not just helmets, but long-sleeve shirts, protective clothing, gloves boots. Anything like that can help.”

Some of the top factors for ATV-related injuries include riding an ATV that is too big for the rider, riding on pavement or roadways, using improper safety gear or being under the influence.