Why are all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) so dangerous?
The first ATVs that were introduced to the market in 1971 were three-wheelers. So many of these vehicles rolled over and caused injuries, that the U.S. Justice Department sued ATV manufacturers for allegedly violating the Consumer Product Safety Act. But while ATV manufacturers agreed to stop making three-wheelers in 1887, many remain in use today.
What about four-wheel ATVs?
Thousands of four-wheelers continue to be recalled for design and manufacturing defects. And even larger side-by-side two-occupant vehicles (referred to as utility terrain vehicles, or UTVs) have been recalled for stability problems that result in serious injuries due to rollovers. In fact a large recall of certain Yamaha Rhino UTVs has recently been announced due to fears that a design defect of a brake part could result in loss of control of the vehicle.
As ATV and UTV injuries and recalls continue to mount at alarming rates, it is becoming more than conjecture that regulatory measures are not leading to the implementation of meaningful and life-saving safety standards. The most disturbing outcome of this reality is that a significant share of the victims (over 30 percent) is made up of children under the age of 16.
Why are so many children injured by ATVs?
Children under the age of 16 who are injured while riding ATVs were usually riding an adult ATV. Adult ATVs can often travel at 60 miles per hour and can weigh up to 800 pounds. Even ATV with smaller engines should not be seen as toys, and anyone who rides them, including adults, should receive specialized training prior to operating one.
What should I do after an ATV accident?
- Consult a physician. Some ATV injuries do not become symptomatic until up to months later, and minor injuries can worsen over time. Documentation of your condition may also prove vital to a legal claim later on.
- Collect as much information as possible, including contact information for witnesses and anyone else involved, and insurance information for those involved. Take written note of the location of the accident, and the make, model and color of the ATV.
- Answer only enforcement official's questions. If an enforcement official asks you if you are hurt, politely respond that you are not sure (you are being truthful, see above). Do not sign anything prior to consulting with an attorney.
- Consult with a qualified personal injury attorney who can guide you through the legal process while you deal with the other, often emotional, issues that often present themselves in the aftermath of the accident.