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ATV Accidents: The Basics

ATV Accidents: The Basics

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) are used for many different purposes. While they commonly are used for recreation, it isn’t uncommon for them to be used in herding animals, surveying large areas of farmland, transporting tools and equipment, and traversing mountains, deserts, beaches, and other rugged terrains. Despite their widespread popularity and use, ATVs can pose a significant threat to riders and bystanders.

Common ATV Injuries

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) documents injury statistics for ATVs and has recorded more than 14,000 ATV-related deaths between 1982 and 2015. In 2015, the CPSC estimates that about 98,000 people received emergency medical treatment for their ATV-related injuries. Often, these injuries can be quite severe.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are among the most serious injuries sustained in ATV accidents. These injuries can drastically change a victim’s life and cause significant and ongoing medical expenses. ATV riders can also sustain neurological injuries, spinal code injuries (SCI), neck injuries, chest and abdominal injuries, fractures, and dislocations. Many of these potential injuries can be catastrophic and result in a lifetime of medical treatment and disability.

Treatment for ATV-related injuries is often costly and can last for many years as the victim recovers. Many who have been injured in ATV accidents never will fully recover and may struggle to return to work and support themselves or their families. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are two common types of ongoing medical care that can occur after a serious injury.

In addition to physical injuries, many accident victims also sustain emotional damage. Some may even be cognitively impaired due to their injuries. Stress, depression, panic attacks, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are common emotional conditions that can be caused by an accident.

The Hazards of ATVs

Many riders use ATVs to travel over rough terrain, often at high speeds. Even with proper operation, there is a risk that an ATV may still flip or roll over. This can pin the rider underneath the vehicle or throw them off. Most ATVs are not designed to carry more than one person. Carrying passengers increases the risk of losing control of the vehicle. ATV also lack the stability of other vehicles, which means they should be operated at lower speeds and never taken on paved roads.

Children who ride ATVs, either alone or with their parents, are at a much greater risk of injury than adults. They often lack the strength, coordination, and judgment skills to safely operate an ATV, and may struggle to hold on when riding as a passenger. Studies have discovered that adolescents and teenagers are at the greatest risk for head injuries over any other age group. Even following all federal, state, and local regulations regarding ATV use, tragic accidents can still occur.

Tips to Prevent ATV Accidents

While the best way to avoid an ATV accident is simply to avoid using ATVs, there are still steps you can take to prevent accidents while using these vehicles. These safety tips can help you reduce your risk of injury:

  • Never ride an ATV without a DOT approved helmet, as well as appropriated footwear and protective gear.
  • Do not allow passengers on ATVs.
  • Always ensure that ATV operators have read and understood the owner’s manual, including the limitations of the vehicle and appropriate terrains for operation.
  • Check your local and state regulations for ATV use.
  • Have all ATV drivers go through safety training and get practical experience in operating an ATV properly.
  • Never let young children operate an ATV.
  • Never allow ATV operators to ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Make sure you have a way to reach emergency services when you drive an ATV in case of an emergency.

Injured? Call Our Albuquerque ATV Accident Lawyer Now – (505) 219-2176

If you’ve been injured in an ATV accident, you may be eligible for compensation. There are strict state and federal laws governing the sale and manufacture of ATVs, which can hold responsible parties liable. Our Albuquerque personal injury attorney is backed by more than 20 years of trial-tested experience, so you can rest easy knowing you have an experienced fighter in your corner. Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law will right to protect your rights and see that you receive your rightful compensation for your injuries.

Contact our offices today to begin your case with a free case evaluation. Call (505) 219-2176.

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