In a comprehensive study of tree stand accidents, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Injury Sciences found that most tree stand accidents are preventable. The study entitled Epidemiology of Tree Stand-Related Injuries in the United States from 2000 to 2007 by Terry, Joshua BS; Griffin, Russell MPH; Rue, Loring W. III MD; McGwin, Gerald Jr MS, PhD looked at a total of 46,860 tree stand accidents that occurred between 2000 and 2007. Their recommendations are that hunters use safety harnesses and perform regular maintenance of tree stands.
Tree stand accidents can cause serious injuries wit the most common being severe fractures to the hips and lower extremities. Other serious injuries can include traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
The study also found that younger hunters — those between the ages of 15 and 34 — are more likely to be seriously injured in tree stand accidents because they spend more time in tree stands and are more apt to disregard safety precautions.