A Johns Hopkins team has found that crashes involving ATVs - four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles - are significantly more dangerous than crashes involving two-wheeled off-road motorcycles, such as those used in extreme sports like Motocross.
The research found that victims of ATV crashes were 50 percent more likely to die of their injuries than similarly injured victims of off-road motorcycle crashes.
ATV victims were also 55 percent more likely than injured motorcyclists to be admitted to a hospital's intensive-care unit and 42 percent more likely to be placed on a ventilator.
"There's a belief that four wheels must be safer than two," says Cassandra Villegas, a research fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Surgery Trials and Outcomes.
But we found the opposite. People involved in ATV crashes are more likely to die or suffer serious trauma."
The study is to be presented at the American College of Surgeons' 2010 Clinical Congress in Washington, D.C., this week.