ATV Accident Risks
ATV riding is considered an activity much more dangerous than other sports and leisure activities. For example, injuries sustained in ATV accidents are six times more likely to require hospitalization and 12 times more likely to be fatal in ATV accidents compared to bicycle accidents.
Moreover, several recent studies indicate a dramatic increase in the number of ATV accidents in the United States. Experts have found that between 2000 and 2005 the incidence of ATV-related fatalities increased by 60 percent, while non-fatal injuries increased by 48 percent.
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San Diego County All-Terrain Vehicle Lawyers
Researchers and other ATV experts believe this dramatic increase is due to a number of factors.
Number of ATVs in use. One reason for the increase in ATV accidents is that there are many more ATVs in operation today than in the past. In the mid-1980s, approximately 400,000 ATVs were in use, whereas today, there are over 9 million ATVs in operation.
ATV size and power. The size, weight and power of ATVs have dramatically increased in the last few decades, making ATV use more dangerous. In the 1970s, for example, the average ATV weighed 250 pounds and had 7 horsepower. Today, the average ATV is significantly heavier (up to 1,000 pounds) and stronger, able to approach speeds up to 100 miles per hour. This is a major ATV accident risk, especially for children who operate ATVs.
Rollover risk. Experts also point to ATVs' high center of gravity as a major ATV accident risks. A higher center of gravity makes any vehicle more prone to rollover, which can be extremely dangerous in an ATV, given the exposure of riders.
Who is at risk for ATV accidents?
Males. 60 percent of all ATV accident fatalities occur among males, including children 14 and under.
Children. Children are more likely to hurt themselves in an ATV accident than adults. Child use of adult-sized ATVs is a serious cause of ATV accidents. In 2001, for example, 87 percent of children injured in ATV accidents were riding an adult-sized ATV. Children (under the age of 16) are 4 times more likely to require hospitalization for ATV injuries than adults.
Riders with less experience. Statistics show that individuals who ride ATVs less than 25 hours a year, those under the age of 16, and those with less than one year of riding experience, are at highest risk of ATV accidents.
More powerful ATVs. Riders who operate an ATV with a 400cc engine or greater are at a greater risk for ATV accidents.
Riverside County Injury Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an ATV accident, it is important to contact an ATV accident attorney who can evaluate your case to determine the best way to protect your rights and interests. Please contact our ATV attorneys at Aitken Aitken & Cohn today for a free evaluation of your case.