ATV riding and gorgeous spring and summer weather often go hand-in-hand. Who doesn’t want to take their ATV out for a morning, afternoon or early evening drive when the weather is nice? Outdoor recreation of all categories is encouraged during spring and summer months as long as one considers proper safety, especially regarding ATVs.
The ATV community is well aware of the dangers riding poses. Rough and rugged terrain, high speeds, lack of helmets and goggles, as well as alcohol and recklessness are all factors that come into play when an ATV accident occurs. We want to make sure you, your family and loved ones stay safe, so we have compiled some useful information to bring light to ATV accidents, why they happen and how to avoid them.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) provide a fun way to explore Arizona’s rugged off-road wilderness. However, as with any activity involving high speeds and heavy machinery, ATVs can be risky. On average, more than 700 people are killed and 135,000 people are injured annually in ATV accidents in the U.S. What’s more, a third of those injured or killed are children under the age of 16. By observing these safety tips, you can prevent many ATV-related injuries and fatalities:
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
- Supervise all riders under the age of 16
- Don’t ride with a passenger
- Get the right training
- Don’t speed
- Never operate an ATV while under the influence
Wear Safety Gear
Arizona ATV laws do not require riders to wear helmets, but it is absolutely crucial at any age to invest in a helmet that fits well and protects you or a family member from a potential collision. Almost all accidents resulting in death or serious injury happen when a rider isn’t wearing a suitable helmet to protect him or herself. Investing in safety goggles allows the rider to retain a clear visual of his or her surroundings and protects the eyes from dust, sand, bugs and any other projectiles buzzing or flying around. Thick gloves and sturdy boots prevent burns, scrapes and road rash in the event of a collision or accident as well.
Most ATV-related injuries are head injuries, so it’s important to wear a helmet approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation while riding an ATV. Also, in the event of a crash, any exposed skin could be prone to cuts, bruises and scrapes. So wear long sleeves, pants and boots while riding to help prevent these injuries.
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.
Do Not Drive An ATV Under The Age of 16
We understand it might be hard to wait, but children and teenagers under the age of 16 are ill equipped to drive an ATV. Inexperienced driving coupled with small body mass can result in death or serious injury in the case of an accident. The rules of the road apply to cars as they do with ATVs, so taking a safety course to brush up on Arizona ATV laws, rules and regulations are encouraged for new and returning riders.
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
Most ATVs are designed to carry only one person. Also, proper riding depends on the rider’s ability to shift weight according to the terrain. A passenger can make it more difficult to control the vehicle. ATVs are typically only designed to carry one person. Passengers can make it more difficult to control the vehicle on challenging terrain.
Get Proper ATV Training
Taking a safety course can help you better handle your ATV and significantly reduce your risk of serious injury or death. 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 On Your ATV
A good rule to be aware of is that as your speed increases, your chances of an accident increase. Your chances of a deadly accident also increase. Think about it. If you are traveling 5mph and get into a collision the damages will be minimal. However, if you are traveling 40mph, the incident can be a lot more serious.
Cross Paved Roads With Caution
Many serious injuries and fatalities occur when the ATV is hit by another vehicle. Look both ways and exercise caution when crossing highways, streets and trails while riding an ATV.
Don’t Drive ATVs While Under The Influence
As with any vehicle, ATVs can be dangerous to operate with drugs and alcohol in your system. As with any vehicle, the odds of a potentially life-threatening accident increase significantly if you have drugs or alcohol in your system.
Understand The Risks of ATV Collisions
Knowing there is a chance for serious injury or even death while riding an ATV will prepare you to stay conscious of activities, environments and other riders around you. Just as driving a car carries risks, so does riding an all-terrain vehicle. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings and adhere to Arizona ATV laws. Use common sense to avoid dangerous terrain. Be mindful of other drivers on the road or trail and always, always, always make sure you are exercising caution on the road.
Know When to seek help from an ATV accident lawyer
Should an accident occur, ask for help. If you are the victim of an accident and feel as if another driver has caused you injury, call a personal injury lawyer after you call 911. If you are unsure of laws and regulations in the state of Arizona, ask for help from a professional or a law enforcement officer.
If you have been the victim of an all-terrain vehicle accident or collision and wish to have legal representation, call a Mesa accident attorney from Skousen, Gulbrandsen and Patience LLC to get started: 480-833-8800. Trust our team to represent you during your case and fight for you. Contact our office today to talk about your ATV collision case and bring you to a speedy resolution.