All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are 3 or 4 wheeled motorized vehicles that are ridden off-road. ATVs are equipped with gasoline powered engines and are designed for one driver only. ATVs were designed in the late 1960’s and first sold in the United States in the early 1970’s. This type of vehicle is very popular and is commonly used for recreation, rescue efforts in emergency situations, and agricultural maintenance. Every year many people, including children, are severely injured due to ATV accidents. Serious physical injury, property damage, brain damage, paralysis, and death may result from an ATV accident. If you have been in an ATV-related accident you may be entitled to medical costs, vehicle repair compensation, pain and suffering, loss of earnings, and future loss of earnings.
The statistics concerning All Terrain Vehicles in the United States show that:
- In 1998 there were over 60,000 reported ATV-related injuries.
- In 1997 over 30,000 children under the age of 16 were injured in ATV-related accidents.
- It has been estimated that ATV-related injuries have doubled in the past 5 years in the United States.
- In a recent 5 year period ATV-related injuries that have required emergency room assistance have increased over 100 percent.
here are many different factors that may cause accidents while operating an All Terrain Vehicle. Some causes of accidents are:
- Improper positioning on the vehicle
- Too many riders on vehicle Lack of protective gear
- Operating an ATV at unsafe speed
- Operating an ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Other causes of All Terrain Vehicle accidents are related to the production or manufacturing of the vehicle. Manufacturing defects are flaws in the manufacturing process that may result in injuries. Failure to warn is when a manufacturer knows of a hazard regarding the product and does not warn consumers of it. Design defects are errors in the manufacturer’s design of the product that make the vehicle dangerous.
There are many preventative measures regarding All Terrain Vehicle accidents. Riders of all ages and levels of experience should be aware of these preventative measures. Here are some tips for safe riding:
- Learn proper handling of the vehicle by taking an All Terrain Vehicle training class.
- Inspect your vehicle before riding. Look for proper air pressure in tires, locate all controls and cables, make sure headlights and taillights work, and check that fuel and oil levels are adequate.
- Become educated about All Terrain Vehicles by reading the safety manual that accompanied your ATV.
- Familiarize yourself with and follow laws that apply to ATV operation in your state.
- Drive responsibly, be aware of surroundings, weather conditions, and only ride on designated trails.
- Never allow passengers to ride on your ATV.
- Only ride your ATV during daylight hours.
- Wear protective gear at all times. This includes a properly fitting helmet designed for ATV use, gloves, long sleeves, long pants, and boots.
- Ride an ATV that is appropriate for your size and age.
- age 6+ – Under 70cc
- age 12+ – 70cc – 90cc
- age 16+ – over 90cc
- Supervise children while riding ATVs at all times.
It has been proven that children under the age of 16 are the most at risk for accidents while operating ATVs. Many states do not require an age limit, license or training to operate ATVs. A typical adult-size ATV weighs between 500 and 1,000 pounds and can travel as fast as 75 miles per hour.
Every year there are thousand of ATV recalls in the United States. Her are a few recent Recalls of ATVs:
- In 2001 in California, Suzuki voluntarily recalled over 7,000 youth ATVs that had drive chain problems that could injure or possibly kill a child rider.
- In 2000 in California, Honda voluntarily recalled over 125,000 ATVs for problems that could possibly cause drivers to lose control of the vehicles and experience injuries.
- In 2000 in California, Kawasaki recalled approximately 47,000 ATVs because of faulty drive belts that had been the cause of 12 reported injuries by riders.
After an ATV-related accident contact a doctor immediately regarding any pain, suffering, or injury that resulted from you accident.
Personal Injury Attorney Nick Lowe has been protecting the rights of seriously injured victims and their families throughout the Sacramento area since 1992. He possesses vast knowledge in all areas of personal injury law, including accidents, wrongful death, product liability and premises liability. Our personal injury attorneys have recovered substantial settlements for our seriously injured clients in Northern California. He is well respected in the community for his integrity, aggressive representation, and successful case outcomes.