Motocross is a sport in which both children and adults drive lightweight motorbikes over an oval track filled with jumps and turns. The motorcycles used for such events weigh hundreds of pounds and travel at speeds up to 60 mph. Many children under the age of 17, and some as young as 3 or 4, participate in this increasingly popular sport.
While proponents of motocross claim it is no more dangerous than other children’s sports, the statistics say otherwise. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that nearly 51,000 children ages 5 to 14 are hurt annually riding all-terrain vehicles, mopeds and mini-bikes. Given the number of youth participating in these activities, the rate of injury is much higher than other, more traditional, sports such as baseball, football, basketball and soccer. And injuries suffered during such accidents tend to be much more severe as a result of the speed and weight of the vehicles involved.
The CPSC has determined that off-road motorcycle use accounted for more than 39,000 injuries that required emergency room treatment in 1998, a figure that rose to 47,400 in 1999. Between 1997 and 1999, there were 28 deaths as a result of off-road motorcycling, according to the CPSC.
More recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control show that from 2001 to 2004, nearly 24,000 off-road motorcycle drivers under the age of 19 were treated for non-fatal injuries. Twenty percent of those injuries occurred during motocross events, and the drivers injured in such events were much more likely to be hospitalized than riders injured in other settings.
Another study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital showed that nearly ten percent of motocross riders 17 years old or younger who were injured required intensive care admission and a third of such accident victims required surgery.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motocross accident, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal right to compensation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out a free legal consultation form.