Side-by-side (SxS) vehicles have become increasingly popular, but there are few reports on injury epidemiology. Newspaper reports of SxS and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crashes were analyzed for nine U.S. states from 2009 to 2011, including comparisons between the two vehicle types. Seventy-nine SxS crashes involving 104 injured victims were identified; three-fourths were males. There was a relatively high percentage of injured passengers (37%), and a higher proportion of female victims were passengers as compared to males (p = 0.015). Children <16 years of age were 44% of those injured and had the highest proportion of both passenger and operator victims as compared to other age groups. Over half of the crashes occurred on roadways; nearly two-fifths occurred at night. As compared to adults, a lower percentage of crashes involving youth were at night (p = 0.0037) but the percentages on roadways were similar. Only one in five roadway SxS crashes involved a collision with a motorized vehicle. Rollovers were the most common mechanism (50%). Two-thirds of victims were ejected, and one-half were struck or pinned by the vehicle. Twenty-eight deaths (27%) were reported. Although most current SxSs have roll bars, lack of safety belt use has likely reduced their benefit. Children should be prohibited from operating SxSs.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited