It was just a regular day that changed A.J. Avilla's life forever.
The 19-year-old off-road motorcycle racer zoomed up an 80-foot wooden ramp he had just built.
He went flying -- not to the end of the ramp but 50 feet in the air, then slammed hard into the ground.
He broke his neck and femurs.
"I woke up four days later really confused," said Avilla, of Cambridge. "At first I thought I was paralyzed. It was the saddest moment of my life. I felt like I lost everything."
Avilla's crash is similar to the dozens hospitals see every Victoria Day weekend -- a peak time for brain and spine injuries.
Avilla's crash took its toll on his body, and on his family.
Though the accident happened in March, he's now just starting to walk again with a cane.
"(My family's) still recovering emotionally. Seeing me walk again is a big step for them, too," he said.
"It just feels like I got a second chance."
Not everyone gets that chance.
After leg and arm breaks, the most common injury at this time of year is brain or spine injury, said Dr. Niv Sne, trauma expert and surgeon at Hamilton General Hospital.
In 2008-09, about 20,000 people in Ontario suffered bicycle-related injuries, he said.
About 500 people in the Hamilton region have serious ATV accidents each year.
Across Ontario, 20 die from these annually, he added.
Most often injured in ATV crashes are males aged 15 to 19, according to the Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre.
"A lot of people think they're invincible," Sne said.
"This is the start of the summer peak (in trauma injuries). This is the time when kids get out their motorcycles, ATVs, do their partying."
Though boating accidents aren't as common now, Sne said, people often get hypothermia because the water's still too cold.
Near drownings, fractures, heat stroke and food illnesses from more outdoor eating also increase at this time of year, said paramedic Mario Posteraro, president of OPSEU Local 256.
Sne said brain injury death rates haven't changed for the last 20 years, and that people should change their behaviour in simple ways to avoid any injuries:
* Know your equipment
* Make sure there's a supervisor
* Don't drink and drive
* Wear helmets and protective gear
* Be aware of your surroundings
"Even though you might think it's OK to ride around in your neighbourhood without the proper equipment, it takes one small millisecond for it to change the rest of your life," he said.
Overall, about 30 per cent of all traumatic injuries can be avoided, he added.
And it's never just the victim who suffers from a severe accident, Sne said.
"It's not just dealing with the patients. It's going to the parents and saying, 'Your kid will never walk again,' or 'Your kid will never regain consciousness again,'" he said.
"Potentially these things could have been avoidable."