With summertime here and the kids out of school, Alabama residents will be spending more time the outdoors. Camping, fishing, boating, off-roading, and exploring local parks are all wonderful activities to enjoy as a family. Often these may also involve riding recreational vehicles such as ATVs and four-wheelers. While these all terrain vehicles can be a lot of fun, they can also be extremely dangerous if proper safety measures are not followed. Unfortunately, many ATV accidents result in tragic consequences that could have been prevented. Younger or inexperienced riders and drivers also tend to be at a high risk for accidents and injuries. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that in 2015, ATV accidents caused an estimated 97,200 injuries and of these, 28% involved children under the age of 16. The CPSC also reports that on average 564 adults and 123 children under age 16 are killed each year in all terrain vehicle related crashes.
If you or your child were hurt in an accident in Alabama involving a four wheeler or other type of ATV, a Mobile personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for your injuries. To help keep Alabama residents and families safe this summer, the team at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys offers a few safety tips for all-terrain vehicle use.
Preventing ATV Accidents and Injuries in Alabama
Unfortunately, adults and kids alike don’t always perceive the serious potential hazards associated with ATVs. These types of vehicles may seem relatively safe when you compare them to driving a car because they are smaller and not intended to be driven on paved streets where full sized cars and trucks are sharing the roadway. Many people don’t realize that adult ATVs weigh up to 600 pounds and can reach speeds up to 65 mph or more. So it’s important to recognize that driving all terrain vehicles is a serious responsibility – they can be very dangerous and cause deadly accidents. Below are a few important ATV safety steps to follow from a Mobile personal injury lawyer with our law firm.
- ATVs are for off-road terrain only. Four wheelers are not designed to be driven on paved surfaces. They are harder to maneuver on smooth roads and have an increased risk of overturning on streets. In addition, if you have motor trouble or do flip on a highway, you could be hit by a car or even a large truck or van. In fact, ATV accidents have claimed the lives of riders and young children when they were riding on an ATV that was crossing a surface street or highway.
- Never allow a child under 16 years old to operate or ride as a passenger on an adult ATV. There are youth ATVs designed specifically for young riders. These models are smaller and have settings that limit the vehicle’s speed.
- Wear a helmet and protective riding gear. Driving an ATV through the woods, sand dunes, fields or other off road terrain can be a rough ride. Drivers should always wear a motorcycle helmet, goggles, and gloves as well as long pants and shirts with long sleeves to protect them while riding and if they collide with something that knocks them off or flips the ATV.
- Do not allow kids younger than 6 years old to ride on an ATV. Regardless of whether the ATV model is designed to carry a passenger, children 6 years of age or younger should never be on an ATV as a passenger.
- Take a safety course. Anyone who is going to operate an all terrain vehicle – adult or young adult – should complete a hands-on ATV training program. These courses are free and provide important skills to help riders handle their vehicle properly and know what to do in various conditions or situations.
Contact a Mobile Personal Injury Lawyer For Your ATV Accident Injury
Summer vacation should be a fun filled time for you and your family. Unfortunately, unexpected accidents happen and they can result in severe injuries and expenses. If you or your loved one was hurt while riding as a passenger on an all terrain vehicle because of someone else’s negligence, call Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys to help. Our personal injury lawyers have represented victims of all types of ATV accidents in Mobile, Alabama. We’re available 24/7 to take your call at 251-888-8888 and our initial case consultation is free.