Since they first hit the market in the early 1960’s, all terrain vehicles (ATVs) have become very popular for recreational activities as well as occupational endeavors. As the popularity of ATVs grows, so does the increase in accidents and injuries.
ATV accidents have many causes; however, most result from the ATV being overturned because of its soft tires and high center of gravity. Many people do not realize ATVs are only designed for off-road use and do not handle well on paved surfaces. Furthermore, riding on unknown or new terrains puts a rider at a large risk for accidents.
“Injuries caused by an ATV can include cuts, burns, fractures, broken bones, spinal injuries, internal organ injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even death.”
Many accidents involving ATVs are also due to mishandling. For example, riding on an ATV that is not the right size or riding with two passengers on an ATV designed for only one rider can lead to dangerous situations. Also, most ATVs are not designed for dangerous stunts and maneuvers, so attempting these could have serious consequences.
Injuries sustained from ATV accidents range from minor injuries to fatalities. Injuries caused by an ATV can include cuts, burns, fractures, broken bones, spinal injuries, internal organ injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even death. Children under the age of sixteen make up 25% of accidents involving ATVs, children twelve and under make up 43% of this 25%. Injuries from these vehicles can be very serious, so it is extremely important to take precautions to keep yourself and others around you safe.
As listed in the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, these tips can help riders stay safe and help prevent accidents:
- Always wear a helmet and protective gear such as boots, gloves, long-sleeves, and eye protection while on an ATV.
- Avoid riding on paved roads.
- Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Do not allow a child under 16 to drive or ride an adult ATV
- Never ride a youth ATV or a single-rider ATV with a passenger.
- Only have passengers on tandem ATVs and make sure passengers are at least twelve years old.
- Always ride the correct size ATV.
If you own an ATV, we hope you will consider the tips above and take every precaution to minimize your risk of injury. Please talk to your children to make them aware of these tips before riding with a friend. If you found this blog helpful, please share it on Facebook!