Summer is the prime season for ATV enthusiasts to take their rides out for a spin. They don’t have to worry about snow, leaves or ice as they speed across private property or state designated trails under the sun.
While it may be the most thrilling and rewarding time of the year for ATV owners, it’s also one of the most dangerous. Pennsylvania has the second highest amount of reported ATV-related deaths behind Texas. If riders remain unaware of the frequent problems that took the lives of so many others, then they risk suffering from a serious or fatal injury next time they take their four or three wheeled vehicles out of the garage.
ATV riders often suffer severe injuries after their vehicles flips or rolls down a hill. There are several factors that impact the likelihood of this happening. Some of these include:
- If the rider was wearing a helmet or not
- The number of riders on the ATV
- How close the rider was to the side of the road
- What terrain the vehicle was on
- How well the vehicle was functioning
Several of the safety precautions ATV riders should take aren’t that different from motorcycle drivers. They need to wear helmets, check to see how well their vehicle operates before taking it out for a longer time and understand the limitations that are present. Having another passenger on the ATV can drastically throw off the balance, and most of them aren’t designed to go on regular paved roads. Pennsylvania forbids riders from going on highways and streets unless they need to cross a bridge or get home during a state of emergency or special event.
Some of the most common ATV victims are kids under the age of 16. While Pennsylvania doesn’t completely ban children from operating these vehicles, there are several restrictions the state has in place. If they are under 16 and don’t have a valid safety certificate or proper supervision, then they cannot take their ATV on land outside of property owned by their parents.
Studies show that children have a much higher risk of crashing than adults due to their lack of physical strength and experience. Many of these kids also don’t put on their helmets and ride adult-sized vehicles that have significantly larger engines that go at faster speeds. The only restrictions Pennsylvania has on engine size is for children under 10. Those between 10 and 16 may be riding an ATV that is too large for them to handle.
Those who suffer from an ATV accident on the road should review their legal options to see if they can pursue compensation for their vehicle damages and medical bills.