Doha, Qatar: The Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP) from the Hamad Trauma Center is advocating for the safety of riders and drivers by providing essential "Know Before You Go" guidelines and recommendations to ensure ATV users remain safe during this year's camping season.
This guidance is prompted by information from the Qatar National Trauma Registry, revealing that 56 individuals sustained moderate to severe injuries last year due to ATV use in Sealine or Mesaieed areas. Alarmingly, 40% of these injured individuals were under the age of 15.
Dr. Rafael Consunji, Director of the HIPP, stressed the importance of these safety recommendations, derived from comprehensive data analysis. He emphasized that all families engaging in off-road vehicle activities should be well-versed in these guidelines to ensure a safe and injury-free camping season.
According to Dr. Consunji, ATVs, typically designed for a single operator, require considerable strength, skill, training, and experience to handle effectively.
Dr. Aisha Abeid, Assistant Director of the HIPP, highlighted that over 40% of ATV victims are under 15 years old. She emphasized that these vehicles are not toys and demand sophisticated decision-making, impulse control, and strength, which young children might not possess.
Dr. Abeid also noted the recommendation by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons against children below 12 years operating quad bikes and highlighted that those above 90 cc in engine size should not be operated by individuals younger than 16 years of age.
The "Know Before You Go" safety tips offered by HIPP include: prohibiting young children from operating ATVs, using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when riding, restricting ATV use to designated areas, prohibiting passengers, avoiding peak activity periods, practicing responsible riding, and ensuring ATVs are only used off-road, as they lack features necessary for regular road use.