May 21, 2013 by Michael Skousen
All-terrain vehicles, also known as ATVs, can be a fun way to explore Arizona’s rugged wilderness. As with any activity that involves high speeds and heavy machinery, ATVs can be quite dangerous. Approximately 700 people are killed and 135,000 are injured every year in the United States due to ATV accidents. Sadly, a third of those injured or killed are children under the age of 16.
If you own an ATV or plan on using one this summer, it is important to take safety precautions. Here are a few tips on how to prevent ATV-related injuries and fatalities:
- Always wear a helmet and the appropriate protective gear. Most ATV injuries and fatalities are due to head trauma, so wearing a helmet that is approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation while riding an ATV decreases your chances of a serious injury. Wearing long sleeves, pants and boots can also help prevent scrapes, cuts and bruises.
- Supervise all riders under the age of 16. Riders under the age of 16 are less likely to have the cognitive skills and judgment needed to ride an ATV on their own. Carefully supervise anyone 15 and under to avoid an accident.
- Don’t ride with a passenger. ATVs are typically only designed to carry one person. Passengers can make it more difficult to control the vehicle on challenging terrain.
- Get the right training. Sign up for a course in ATV safety that can train you in how to better handle your ATV. Understanding these basics can significantly reduce your risk of injury or death
- Don’t speed. Riding an ATV too fast increases your risk of collision and makes it more difficult to handle.
- Never operate an ATV while under the influence. As with any vehicle, the odds of a potentially life-threatening accident increase significantly if you have drugs or alcohol in your system.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident that is someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. The personal injury attorneys at Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience can evaluate your case and help guide you through the correct actions to take. For a free initial legal consultation, call us today at 480-833-8800.