An ATV also known as an all-terrain vehicle is a type of motor vehicle. Other names for an ATV are quad, quad bike, three wheeler, or four wheeler. The off road vehicle was introduced in the early 1970’s and can be as dangerous as motorcycles.
Three wheeled ATV’s have been banned due to the severity of accidents, however, they still exist. Four wheelers, however have not been banned, and are not necessarily any safer. ATV’s are popular for recreation but are also sometimes used for farm work.
With more and more people participating in off road activities, there have been a significant amount of deaths and injuries due to ATV accidents. The number of ATV accidents in the United States is significant and the injuries from those accidents are often severe, even death. One study showed that ATV-associated fatalities increased nearly 60 percent between 2000 to 2005, while non-fatal injuries rose 48 percent.
From 2004 through 2008, in the United States, an estimated 704,000 people were injured while operating an ATV and 3,372 people were killed. One-third to one-quarter of those deaths was children under the age of 16. In 2008 alone, there were 410 reported deaths due to ATV accidents.
Many serious injuries can result due to an ATV accident. These injuries often include:
– Brain injuries
– Spinal cord injuries
– Back injuries
– Neck injuries
– Broken arms
– Skull fracture
– Broken ribs
– Fractured or broken legs
– Shattered wrists
– Internal organ damage
ATV accidents not only happen due to the misconduct of the rider or other riders but could also take place due to the defects of the ATV. Defects involving the steering and/or brakes are most common and when that happens a rider can easily lose control of the vehicle and most likely will crash.
If proper equipment is worn, many of the common injuries listed above could be prevented. It is recommended by most ATV manufacturers that protective equipment such as an approved helmet, protective eyewear, gloves, and suitable riding boots should be worn. If you are riding an ATV for sport and on rough terrains such as rock crawling, check protectors and knee/shin guards are also recommended by ATV manufacturers.
Victims of ATV accidents do have legal rights and should pursue them immediately after the accident. People injured in ATV accidents can often have claims for their personal injuries. Accident victims can also be compensated for pain and suffering, disability, and other money damages. Families of people who are killed in ATV accidents can often file a Wrongful Death Claim.