Arizona is home to many off-road trails that beckon All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) riders for hours of weekend fun. However, while we don’t hear about them as frequently as motorcycle accidents, ATV accidents are still a somewhat common occurrence. In fact, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) reported 141 off-road ATV collisions in 2014, with 78 percent resulting in injuries.
Do You Need a Lawyer for ATV Injuries?
Victims of any motorsport injury should always contact ATV collision lawyer in their community. This protects the victim’s rights even if there is no intent to file an injury claim. Some of the most common damages pursued as a result of an ATV user accident include:
- Broken arms, elbows, fingers, legs, toes, or ankles
- Skull fracture
- Spinal cord damage
- Limb Amputation
What Rules Does Arizona Have for ATV Users?
ATVs and UTVs (utility terrain vehicle) have rules and regulations imprinted on the fiberglass that indicate the ages, heights and weights compatible with the machine. Follow these guidelines when choosing a vehicle.
If a rider is under 16 years of age, they cannot operate a full-sized ATV. Be sure to purchase a size-appropriate vehicle for younger riders. Ride with them to correct speed and steering. Most ATV manufacturers require riders to be a minimum of five feet tall and at least 100 pounds. You may even find weight maximums imprinted on the vehicles. Optional seating such as back end sets designed for storage are not encouraged for rider use while vehicle is moving.
All ATV riders, regardless of age and experience, should wear proper safety equipment. See our take on safety gear recommended for ATV or UTV use. Arizona has specific rules about helmet and eye protection usage for off-road vehicles (OHV). Always inspect your safety equipment of the ATV/UTV before riding. Ensure your brake and turn signal lights are functional. Check your headlights and horn too. Arizona requires all mufflers be functional without alteration. Phoenix or Tucson registrants of off-road vehicles may need to have their ATV or UTV tested at a local emissions facility.
Is Arizona Terrain to Blame for ATV or UTV Accidents?
There is always a risk when taking any vehicle off paved roads. When you ride on off-road trails in mountain areas, you can encounter narrow and steep roads. Prepare to slow down speed when riding across rocky and unsteady trails or areas of thick sand. Maintain adequate following distance between yourself and the rider ahead to keep dust from obstructing your vision. Observe the same rules as when you are driving in a car on the road; the top three driver violations for all vehicles resulting in accidents, injuries and fatalities in 2014 were speed, failure to yield the right of way and following too closely (ADOT-pg.31).
You can pursue an ATV injury claim against the manufacturer or a negligent rider if the accident was not your fault. You or your loved one’s injuries deserve restitution. We encourage you to contact our Phoenix-area motorcycle accident attorneys or lawyers. We are well versed in Arizona’s motorcycle and off-road laws. Schedule your free in-person consultation with SGP Law today via phone or online!