Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say results of an online study indicate that more than half of young American ATV riders don’t always wear a helmet.

“Helmet non-use among youth is a particular concern because these riders have a greater likelihood of crashing than adults, and their likelihood of dying or sustaining a serious TBI is much higher,” Bethany West, an epidemiologist at the CDC, told Reuters Health. “We found that the most frequent riders had the lowest consistent helmet use.”

The CDC results came after researchers analyzed responses to a 2011 online survey of 831 kids between the ages of 12 and 17. We will take that with a fairly hefty grain of salt, as 831 responses is a tiny number.

Of the survey respondents, approximately one quarter had ridden an ATV in the past year. CDC research indicates 45% of those who had ridden always wore a helmet and 25% said they never wore a helmet. Perhaps the most concerning number is among the kids who had ridden at least six times in the past year, 80% said they didn’t always wear a helmet.

“Helmet use is important to prevent brain injuries,” Amy Artuso, a program manager at the National Safety Council, told Reuters. “Just like any new driver, children are less experienced. They’re not as strong physically. It increases their risk for injuries.”




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