ATV Accidents and Prevention

ATV accidents are common in Florida, and this week, a young boy in Polk Country became the latest victim. Only five years old, he was riding with his father when their ATV crashed, rolling several times and killing the boy. Across the state, young victims have ranged between the ages of two and 17, with adults also becoming accident victims. In honor of all the victims of ATV accidents, let’s look more into the statistics, hazards, and what we can do to prevent accidents.

What is an ATV?

ATV stands for all-terrain vehicle. They are also called four-wheelers or quad bikes. ATVs are operated similarly to a motorcycle, but their extra wheels give them more stability.

They are commonly used in agriculture, as they allow farmers and workers to cross rugged terrains. In recent years, militaries across the world have also picked up on ATVs, again thanks to their ability to move across a variety of unpaved surfaces. They are also used for sports and leisure. ATV racing, like dirt biking, has become popular, and involves riders racing across beaches, mountains, or other rough terrains.

How dangerous are they?

Between 2001 and 2008, 144 children and 658 adults died in ATV-related accidents. In the past 25 years, Florida has been home to over 400 ATV deaths. While ATVs themselves might not be inherently dangerous, they pose many risks if used improperly or recklessly. On sudden turns, ATVs may flip over, crushing or throwing a rider. Accidents have also occurred when riders ventured onto paved roads, coming into contact with cars. In the majority of fatal accidents, the victim was not wearing a helmet.

What safety precautions can I take?

The ATV Safety Institute offers these tips for safe riding:
• Wear a helmet, goggles, long sleeves and long pants, boots, and gloves
• Don’t ride on paved roads. While they are all-terrain vehicles, ATVs are not meant to share the road with cars.
• Don’t operate an ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you wouldn’t drive a car while impaired, why would you operate anything else?
• Only carry as many people as the ATV is built to carry. If an ATV is a single-rider, don’t carry anyone else on it.
• If you have to cross a paved road, watch out for cars. Obey all traffic laws like you would if you were driving a car.
• Supervise any riders younger than 16. Remind kids that ATVs are not toys.
• Ride in designated areas, and maintain a safe speed.

Stay safe and have fun!

The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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