While you might think an outing that involves riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) will be an exciting recreational activity, it is well documented that ATVs can be extremely dangerous as well. There are many causes of ATV accidents, from another ATV operator’s aggressive or negligent behavior to a defect in an ATV part. If you need assistance filing an ATV claim, you should speak with an experienced ATV accident lawyer as soon as possible.What is an ATV Accident?
The ATV Safety Institute explains that ATVs are defined as “motorized off-highways vehicles designed to travel on four low-pressure or non-pneumatic tires, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control.” While you might assume that ATVs are all the same size and can be used by operators of all ages, ATVs are actually designed with different weights and sizes of operators in mind. Accordingly, when a younger teenager operates an ATV designed for a larger adult, that teen operator may not be able to maintain control of the vehicle.
An ATV accident can be caused by many different factors. While operators may be negligent in their use of the ATV, other parties also may be liable. Common reasons for ATV accidents can include but are not limited to:
- Improper supervision of an ATV operator;
- Providing the wrong type of ATV for the age and size of the operator;
- Improper maintenance of an ATV;
- ATV operator error, such as using the ATV at excessive speeds or operating the ATV aggressively and causing a collision with another ATV; or
- Defective ATV part.
How often do ATV accidents happen? The following are facts and figures from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
- 15,250 ATV deaths occurred between 1982 and 2017, averaging out to a total of more than 423 ATV-related fatalities every year;
- In 2017 alone, a total of 93,800 ATV riders received treatment in emergency departments for ATV accident injuries, and more than 25% were under the age of 16;
- Approximately 15% of all people treated in emergency departments for ATV accidents are hospitalized;
- In recent years, ATV accident fatality rates have increased, with a total of 585 deaths reported in 2015 and 531 deaths reported in 2016;
- About 22% of all ATV deaths affect children under the age of 16;
- More than 50% of all deaths involving kids under the age of 16 are actually children under the age of 12; and
- Approximately 47% of all injuries were identified as contusions or fractures, sometimes including skull fractures.
The CPSC also identifies the following as the most common areas of injury in ATV accidents:
- Arm injuries, including from shoulders down to fingertips (29%);
- Head or neck injuries (29%);
- Leg injuries (21%); and
- Torso injuries (20%).
Were you injured in an ATV accident, and do you believe another party is at fault? An experienced ATV accident attorney can get started on your case with you today. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information about the personal injury services we provide.