Dangers of ATVs
ATVs are a popular source of recreation these days, and for good reason. These vehicles provide individuals and families the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in a variety of settings. Tragically, ATV accidents are not uncommon, leading to serious injuries, and even deaths in the worst cases. If you or a loved one has been harmed due to the recklessness or negligence of an ATV driver or manufacturer, a local personal injury attorney may be able to help.
Where do ATV Accidents Occur?
Because ATVs can access so many kinds of terrain, accidents can occur virtually anywhere. Statistically speaking,the majority of issues—nearly one-third—occur on pavement. Unpaved roads, pastures and fields, woodlands, and even sand dunes all see their fair share of ATV accidents, as well.
ATV Accident Statistics
Inexperienced riders are 13 times more likely to be involved in an accident than an experienced peer. There are over 100,000 injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms due to ATV accidents annually. Roughly a quarter of them involve children under the age of 16. What kinds of injuries are we talking about?
- More than 31,000 involve injuries to the hands and arms;
- Over 30,000 relate to rider’s head or neck;
- Foot and leg injuries plague over 20,000.
The Mississippi numbers are heartbreaking: injury rates are moving up for children in the state (50 per 100,000), and are virtually double the injury rates for adults (25 per 100,000).
Injuries are bad enough. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of ATV related fatalities nationwide every year, as well. Over one in ten deaths involves a child under the age of 16.
In Mississippi, 43 percent of fatalities related to ATVs involve individuals under age 22. Males account for 80 percent of Mississippi ATV fatalities;
What Makes ATVs so Dangerous?
Because ATVs are motorized and can travel at speeds as high as 65 mph or faster, and because adult vehicles weigh as much as 600 pounds, the machines can be deadly if they overturn or crash into trees or other objects. Accidents may be the result of machine malfunction, excessive speed for the conditions, or individuals riding a machine that is simply too big for them to handle. Safety tips include:
- Wear proper protective gear, including a helmet, gloves, boots, and clothing that covers your body completely;
- Get proper training before taking charge of an ATV;
- Only permit the number of riders for which the machine was designed;
- Do not allow young children to ride a machine designed for adults;
- Avoid riding on paved roads;
- Provide proper supervision for young or inexperienced riders;
- Avoid attempting daredevil stunts;
- Perform regular maintenance tasks and safety inspections.
Following a Serious Accident
If you or a family member has suffered serious injuries or death as a result of an ATV accident, it may be possible to recover damages from responsible parties. Now more than ever, you need a heavy hitting attorney. Contact the aggressive Jackson personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Derek L. Hall, PC for a free, confidential consultation today.