ATV Safety & Accident Prevention
Because the inherent risks of ATV riding, it is important that all owners, operators and passengers of ATVs take steps to be safe and prevent accidents while partaking in this leisure activity. The following are some ATV safety recommendations.
Wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet greatly reduces the risk of serious injuries and death in ATV accidents. In fact, helmet use reduces the risk of fatal head injury in ATV accidents by 42 percent. Helmets reduce the risk of non-fatal head injuries by 64 percent. Anyone who rides on an ATV should wear a helmet, regardless of age or riding distance/time.
Age of rider. Federal ATV regulators state that no child under 6 should ride an ATV. Many health care organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOP), have adopted formal policies recommending that children under age 16 not operate ATVs.
Furthermore, children under the age of 16, if permitted to operate ATVs, should not be allowed to operate an adult-sized ATV. Child-sized ATVs are available and much safer for younger children.
Ultimately, parents should consider a child's emotional, mental, and physical maturity when deciding whether or not it is safe for their child to operate a child-sized ATV.
Adult supervision. Adults should always supervise the ATV riding of children under the age of 16.
Limit children's riding range. Experts recommend that children not operate ATVs on paved surfaces or public roads. Generally, ATVs should only be operated on designated trails.
Child ATV safety measures. All child-sized ATVs should have throttle limiters and identification flags.
Wear protective gear. ATV safety experts recommend the use of DOT-approved helmets with face protection, goggles, long sleeved shirts and jackets, long pants, gloves, and non-skid boots for those operating an ATV to protect against injury in an accident.
Don't carry passengers on ATVs. Evidences shows that the risk of ATV accidents increases dramatically when ATV operators take passengers on their vehicles.
Enroll in a safety course. Many local and state jurisdictions and organizations offer ATV safety course. In fact, some states require certain riders to complete such a course before being allowed to operate an ATV.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident, even despite proper precautions, you may wish to speak with a qualified attorney who can evaluate your case to determine how you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, losses and suffering.