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What You Need to Know About ATV Accidents


All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) are used for a variety of purposes. It isn’t uncommon to ride an ATV for recreation, race ATVs, or use them for surveying large areas of land, herding animals, transporting people and equipment, and traversing mountains, beaches, deserts, or other rough terrain. Whatever use you have for an ATV, it is important to be well aware of the hazards that are associated with these vehicles.

Why Are ATVs So Risky?

ATVs are less stable than other 4-wheeled vehicles, and as such are prone to tipping. They also are designed to handle rough, uneven terrain, but there are limits to what an ATV can conquer. Riders should always be familiar with the abilities of their vehicles and play it safe when encountering particularly rough terrain. ATVs are also not designed to carry more than one rider, and adding an extra person can make an ATV more difficult to control and more prone to tipping.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) maintains the injury statistics for ATV-related accidents, and has recorded more than 14,000 deaths between 1982 and 2015 caused by an ATV accident. Additionally, the CPSC estimates that there were approximately 98,000 people injured by ATVs in 2015 alone. Commonly, these injuries happen due to the vehicle tipping over, flipping, or rolling over. Riders can be thrown off or crushed under the ATV, which can cause significant and even life-threatening injuries.

Children and adolescents are among the most commonly injured age groups when it comes to ATV accidents. Young children may lack the strength, coordination, and judgment necessary to safely operate an ATV, but that doesn’t stop manufacturers from producing child-sized ATVs. Even if a child isn’t riding alone, they still can be thrown from an ATV when riding as a passenger.

Teens may take risks when riding that are unsafe, which can lead to accidents. Studies have discovered that adolescents are the group who report the most severe injuries, including head injuries, out of any age demographic.

While there are many federal, state, and local laws regarding the use of ATVs, accidents still can occur. The off-road nature of these vehicles may encourage risky behavior and laws may be ignored. Unfortunately, this can lead to fatal accidents or life-changing injuries.

Common ATV Accident Injuries

Because of the nature of ATV accidents, the injuries sustained are often quite severe. Often the injuries resulting from ATV accidents are catastrophic, and can affect an injured ATV rider for the rest of their life.

Head injuries are common, even if riders are wearing appropriate helmets. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can occur when a rider strikes their head in the crash, but these injuries can take days or even weeks to manifest. This makes them especially dangerous, since injured people may not seek appropriate medical care after the accident and may not be diagnosed for a while.

Other injuries include spinal cord injuries (SCI), permanent concussions, neurologic injuries, broken bones, dislocations, neck injuries, whiplash, and chest or abdominal injuries. Frequently these injuries parallel those of a motorcycle accident, since ATV and motorcycle riders often wear similar protection and are exposed to similar risks.

Tips to Reduce the Risk of Accidents

Luckily, many ATV accidents can be avoided by always observing safety rules and avoiding serious risks. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while riding ATVs:

  • Always ride with a DOT approved helmet, appropriately protective footwear, and other protective gear, such as riding jackets, pads, and motorcycle armor.
  • Do not carry passengers when operating an ATV.
  • Read your vehicle’s operating manual and be certain you fully understand safe operation and the terrain limits of the ATV.
  • Be familiar with your local, state, and federal regulations regarding ATV use.
  • Get safety training before riding an ATV unsupervised, and practice operating an ATV before riding over rough terrain.
  • Never let young children operate an ATV, and make sure that adolescents receive safety training before being permitted to do so.
  • Never ride or allow others to ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Always keep at least one fully charged communication device with you that will have signal in the area where you are riding in case of an emergency. Because many riders tend to ride in remote areas, it is important to have a device that you know will have signal.

Have You Been Injured? Call Our Brooklyn ATV Accident Attorney - (888) 918-9890

There are many laws regulating the sale, manufacturing, and operation of an ATV. If you were injured due to someone’s negligent actions, you could be entitled to receive compensation. At Belushin Law Firm, P.C., our team is backed by more than a decade of experience, and we are well-equipped to handle your case. Our Brooklyn personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly for your best interests and serve as a powerful advocate through every step of your case.

Contact our firm to get started with a free consultation. Call (888) 918-9890 now.

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