Lawn Mowers Injury Stats and Facts

red mower crashed

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No matter how small your turf is, using lawn mowers remains the fastest way to complete seasonal mowing tasks. However, did you know these tools aren’t the safest lawn care equipment out there?  

If you don’t want to be blindsided, read our team’s brief discussion on lawn mower injury stats and crucial safety tips.

Lawn Mower Accidents, Injuries, and Fatalities: An Overview

According to Consumer Product Safety Commission, wrong handling of riding mowers, push mowers, and manual mowers often lead to being rushed to the emergency room.  

And if you look at the data on lawn mower-related injuries over the past years, it’s hard to ignore how the number of fatalities has increased gradually.

lawn mower

But who are the most affected by these accidents? Is there a common cause you can avoid to continue caring for your lawn without risking your safety?

Who are Affected?

Today’s lawnmower accident statistics suggest that men are three times more likely to suffer serious injuries from these dangerous machines than women. 

If you ask experts, the main reason for it is the tool’s user demographics, which represent more numbers in the male population. 

Any family member can suffer minor and severe injuries regardless of age if this mowing machine isn’t used properly. On average, US emergency departments recorded an annual count of 13 children needing emergency medicine due to lawn mower injuries.

man operating a Gravely riding mower

However, it’s also important to note that more children in rural areas are found to be more prone to surgical complications caused by lawn mower-related injuries than kids in urban areas. 

And as professional users often use zero-turn riding lawn mower options, they also play a significant part in the accident statistics. 

Causes of Lawnmower Accidents

Most accident statistics don’t indicate if such injuries are caused by walk-behind power mowers or riding mowers. But upon our team’s effort, we discovered that typical lawnmower injuries lead to lacerations. Some lawn mower accident statistics reported that these incidents mostly happen while cleaning the discharge chute. 

It’s highly likely to take place if the user forgets to shut off the rotating blades. However, remember that the mower blades may still release tension even after turning it off or clearing obstructions.

You can also suffer lacerations if the machine gets objects thrown in your direction. This incident can cause eye injuries if you’re not using protective eyewear.  Nevertheless, it can only transpire if other machines are in use or there are path obstructions like sticks and stones. 

cleaning the discharge chute of lawn mower

Moreover, users are known to suffer foot injuries because of push and walk-behind models. Expect this kind of accident if the unit doesn’t have safety skirting or when a lawn mower operator physically pulls the unit backward without caution. 

Accidents and Injuries Sustained by Professional Landscapers

As we previously stated, professionals often prefer using riding mowers. Because of this, it’s not surprising that CPSC recorded over 35,000 accidents in 2019 for the riding mower models alone.

Although these riding mower accident statistics are mostly minor, you shouldn’t ignore OSHA’s[1] report of 252 landscapers’ death in the past year. It shows that it’s not impossible for ride-on mowers to flip over and cause big accidents during usage. 

Facts About Lawnmower Accidents and Injuries Today

According to the latest known lawnmower accident statistics, approximately 6,400 people are brought to emergency rooms annually. These incidents can lead to amputations, lacerations, broken bones, nerve damage, or even death. 

riding mower fell off

So if you intend to keep your family safe and your lawn mowed, here are the risks you should know.  

#1: Lawnmower Accidents Rose to More Than 85,000 Every Year on Average

Whether you operate a push mower or a riding lawn mower, the truth is that over 85,000 accidents are recorded annually because of these tools. The current US population is approximately 329.5 Million, so the affected demographics are around 0.026%. 

#2: Lawnmower-Related Accidents Resulted in 70 Deaths Per Year in the US

Some may think 70 deaths related to lawnmower accident statistics aren’t that alarming. But you must know that that’s more than the yearly 25 to 50 deaths from accidents caused by landslides in the US.

#3: There are Still Backover Injuries Due to the Reverse Mowing Feature

Did you know there are around 65 backover accidents annually because of the lawn mower reverse feature? And while it may seem insignificant to the thousands of annual incidents, the concern comes from the reality that 70% of these accidents involve children under five years of age. 

red mower crashed

Although these unfortunate events involve riding lawnmowers, emergency departments noted that most victims are non-riders. 

#4: Hand and Finger Lacerations are Common Injuries

As these machines require manual fixing and maintenance, lacerations on fingers and hands are the most common accidents you’ll encounter. This incident occurs because of fixing a stuck blade or clearing the discharge chute, leading to the blade rotating again and causing an injury. 

#5: Most Lawnmower Injuries Need Hospital Care in Comparison to Injuries From Other Lawncare Equipment

Not all accidents caused by lawnmowers require hospitalization, but 50% of them are deep cuts that may need serious medical attention. Other than that, 24% of this data shows fractures are a big part of the growing number of lawn mower-related emergency room visits. 

Amputations only happen in 21.5% of these incidents, but you must remember that it’s also a major operation requiring medical care. 

#6: Treating Lawnmower-Related Injuries Can Cause a Whopping $37,000

When you get injured by a lawnmower, you either get hospitalized because it’s too severe, or your first-aid treatments will suffice because it’s just a minor accident. 

injury treated at hospital

Nevertheless, the average cost you have to cover if you need to seek critical medical care is around $37,000. The overall cost highly depends on your condition and your necessary medical procedures. 

Chances of Accidents

#7: You are More Likely to Get Killed by a Lawnmower Than Lightning

It’s not rocket science to figure out that getting hit by lightning is a one-in-a-million chance around the world. In the country, only 20 people or fewer are killed yearly by this phenomenon, and that’s just 28% of the annual deaths caused by lawnmowers.  

#8: Men are at Higher Risk Than Women

Out of the thousands of lawn mowers deployed around the country, 90% of them are owned by the male population. Only 10% of the overall count are women, so it’s expected that men are at a higher risk for lawnmower accidents.

#9: Children are Also at Risk for Foot Injuries

Accidents involving a child’s foot often happen when running near the push or walk-behind power mower. They may also fall and get injured if they’re allowed to sit with the operator while boarding a ride-on mower. 

boy mowing the lawn

#10: Most Accidents Occur from April to September

If you look at the overall statistics as we did, you’ll see that these accidents often happen between April and September. Additionally, the records suggest that these incidents happen more frequently on a weekday than on the weekend.

#11: Every 5th Lawnmower Injury Results to Amputation

As amputations cover 21.5% of the overall lawn mower mishaps, one in every five accidents involving this tool is expected to end in dismemberment. 

#12: The Chances of Getting Killed Due to Lawnmower Accidents are Higher Than Encounters With Sharks, Alligators, Snakes, Spiders, Cows, and Dogs Combined

In some statistical reports, lawnmower-related deaths range from 70 to 90 per year. If you do the math, that’s higher than people dying through bear and alligator attacks, which is only one per year. 

Lawn mower yearly deaths are also significantly higher than the combined number of people killed by cows, dogs, and spiders annually. 

Lawn Mower Safety Tips

Yes, a lawn mower can pose a danger, but it won’t harm you or your family if you follow these safety tips. 

lady operating EGO Power+ LM2021 Push Lawn Mower

How to Watch Out for Your Kids and Teens

Besides keeping your pets inside during the grass-cutting operations, we also highly recommend not letting kids run around as you mow. 

Many lawn mower injury stats indicate accidents involving kids and teens, so it’s always wise to follow the minimum requirement of 12 years of age (for pushmowers) and 16 years old (for riding models).

little girl mowing the lawn

Apart from the dangers of being run over, most lawnmowers operate with motors that make their exterior hot. Because of this, kids may get burns if they try to make contact.  

Vulnerability Due to Weak Safety Mechanisms and Mowing in Reverse

The flawed safety mechanisms of lawnmowers start with its reverse-cutting feature. Many manufacturers claim that this function allows operators to mow in reverse without looking, which ultimately defeats the purpose of safe operations. 

FAQ

Can a lawnmower emit carbon monoxide?

If you’re using a riding mower, then it’s likely that it’s equipped with a combustion engine that burns fuel and emits carbon monoxide. 

It won’t cause any harm when used in an open space like your lawn. However, it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if you leave it running inside an enclosed garage.

What is the recommended age for children to use mowers?

The recommended age for children to use a pushmower is 12 years old. For riding mowers, it would be best to wait until they’re 16.

What do you call the fear of lawnmowers?

If you’re scared of a lawn mower, you have a phobia called rasemaphobia. It could come from previous experiences and includes physiological episodes like panic attacks and anxiety. 

Conclusion

If you want a well-manicured lawn, it’s a no-brainer that you have to mow it. And while the safety risk will always be there, trust our lawn care experts when we say that all these can be avoided through proper usage and caution. Knowing how to maintain your mower will also help avoid such accidents. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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