Using forensic autopsy-based data from a regional medical examiner office in the midwestern U.S. with a mixed small urban-rural population, we describe the characteristics of all-terrain vehicle (ATV)-related deaths occurring between 2000 and 2018. During this period, there were 25 ATV-related deaths. There was a strong male predominance with 22 male and 3 female decedents. The average age at death was 35 years, with a range from 10 to 82 years, and a bimodal age distribution with one peak at 10–19 years old, and a second peak at 60–69 years old. The most common cause of death was blunt trauma (n = 22), with the remainder being torso compression (n = 1), drowning (n = 1) and hypothermia (n = 1). Of the 22 blunt trauma deaths, 15 were due to head trauma. The most common mechanism of accident was roll-over (n = 11), followed by striking a stationary object (n = 6). Of the stationary objects struck, the most common was cable wire fencing accounting for 3 of the 6. A survival period following discovery of the body was present in 11 of the 25 deaths. Postmortem toxicology was positive for ethanol in 7 deaths and tramadol in 1 death.
All-terrain vehicle ATV Off-road Death Forensic Autopsy
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Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
This project was submitted for IRB approval and was determined to be exempt from review (retrospective review, deceased individuals).
Not required (retrospective review of records, deceased individuals).
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