How Many ATV Accidents Happen Each Year?
All-Terrain vehicles (ATV) are a popular motorized vehicle that allows riders to travel off-road into the outdoors and sometimes at great speeds.
Also known as a “quad” or “four wheeler,” they come with three or four-wheels, low-pressure tires, a handlebar for steering, and hand controls for braking and acceleration. The rider straddles the bike.
They are intended for a single rider with no passenger.
There are ATVs made specifically for youngsters and you will see a label on the ATV with the age requirement. ATVs intended for adults generally can go faster and are larger and too heavy for a young person or adolescent to handle.
An ATV is not a toy. Serious injury can occur with the improper use of an ATV.
Another form of ATV is a UTV or Utility Task Vehicle. It is a four-wheeler off-road vehicle surrounded by a steel cage and equipped with seat belts and a wind screen. It is intended for more than one rider.
From 1982 to 2014, the federal government reports there were 362 deaths in Alabama related to ATV accidents.
Every year nationwide approximately 135,000 individuals are injured in ATV-related accidents. There are between 300-400 people killed annually in these accidents with one-third of them children under the age of 16.
Ages 15 to 24 saw the largest number of ATV operator fatalities, according to the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
The age group of 35 to 44 had the highest percentage of ATV operators involved in fatal crashes with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash statistics from 2004 to 2013.
In 2018, there were 8 ATV-related fatalities in Alabama, according to the Consumer Federation of America. The state reached a death toll peak of 20 ATV occupant fatalities in 2009.
That number is on the rise, according to the CPSC, because of the accelerated sales of ATVs. The summertime is the peak season for off-road injuries.
Injuries occur when an individual is thrown from the ATV and suffers head trauma or bodily injury.
Other injuries result when the ATV flips and lands on top of the rider.
These are preventable injuries if you follow the industry safety advice.
When riding an ATV you will want to make sure you wear a DOT compliant helmet that protects your eyes and your head. Make sure it fits properly and the chin strap is secure.
Other safety measures include:
- To protect yourself wear goggles, long pants, long sleeves, over the ankle boots and gloves.
- Take an ATV Rider Course training program, which may be free when you purchase your new ATV.
- ATVs are designed to be driven off-road. Do not ride on a paved road because turning on paved surfaces is difficult and dangerous due to the solid rear axle.
- Never ride your ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Make sure air pressure corresponds to the recommended tire pressure and that both sides are inflated at the same pressure.
- To avoid loss of control, make sure axle nuts are tightly secured and wheel nuts are tightened properly.
- Avoid hills that appear too steep and never ride ahead if you do not have visibility of the road.
- ATVs intended for adults should not be ridden by those under the age of 16.
It is possible that your ATV has a defective part installed in its system. That is why some are recalled for defective clutch, tires, fender, or throttle. If a defective part caused your ATV accident you may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
For example, Kawasaki has just recalled about 2,600 Teryx off-highway vehicles due to an incorrect joint assembly that can cause steering loss. Last March, Kawasaki also recalled about 2,600 Mule Pro MX off-highway utility vehicles because there was a problem with the fuel tank cap gasket that can allow fuel to leak, posing a fire hazard.
The company had received about seven reports of vehicles catching fire.
The largest recall was in 2016 of the Polaris off-highway vehicles when 133,000 were recalled due to a fire hazard. The company had received reports of fires resulting in the death of a 15-year-old passenger in a rollover that resulted from a fire.
As part of our representation of your interests, attorney J. Allen Brown will determine the cause of the crash of your off-road vehicle. If you sustained an injury due to the negligence of others, Mr. Brown will be thorough in the investigation of your case. Contact his Mobile office at 251- 220-3199 for a free consultation and case assessment.