NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Summer is traditionally the start of the trauma season with an increase of North Dakotans visiting the emergency room from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

With more outdoor activities available during the summer months, comes the potential for more injury.

Falls are the number one cause of trauma year-round, but during trauma season, the change is the age demographic, 15- to 35-year-olds, and the types of falls that occur.

“We see a shift toward recreational activities. More motorcycles, more ATVs, bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles. Things related to boats, water skiing, drownings, things of that nature,” said Dr. Gary Wease, chief of Trauma and Acute Surgery at Trinity Health Hospital in Minot.

With many high-risk activities in the summer, Dr. Wease says many trauma incidents become alcohol-related, on and off our roads.

According to ND.GOV, there have been 1,252 DUI arrests this year throughout the state

Alcohol plays a factor in about 42% of all fatal vehicle crashes in North Dakota.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, most trauma season incidents involve ATV crashes with 95,000 injuries and more than 700 deaths a year

Dr. Wease said, “There is a high majority of patients who are involved in motor vehicle and ATVs and motorcycle accidents that do have evidence of use of alcohol, for sure.”

He says he feels most injuries during “trauma season” are preventable, and following the law is key in preventing injuries.

“If you think to yourself, maybe for a second I shouldn’t do this, probably you shouldn’t do this. If it crosses your mind that it is not a good idea, it is probably not a good idea. If people use more common sense and think about their choices more, I think we could decrease some of those accidents and some of those injuries,” said Dr. Wease.

As a level two trauma center, Dr. Wease says his team and him are always ready to provide definitive care for any injury that comes through the door, but they would much rather everyone stay safe and enjoy the summer.