All-Terrain Vehicles are marketed for fun, adventurous times. However, it is important to know that these vehicles can still be dangerous if other vehicles are nearby, or if the ATV is defective. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission analyzes data regarding ATV related crash statistics and the injuries they can cause. In numerous instances, ATV collisions can result in a death. At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Keen & Littky-Rubin, our Florida ATV collision lawyers are dedicated to protecting individuals who have sustained injury as a result of wrongdoing or negligence.
There are numerous causes of ATV crashes, and it is important to determine who is liable before pursuing legal action. For instance, the manufacturer of the ATV may be held accountable if something goes wrong with the vehicle and it causes serious injury or death. The driver of another ATV may also be responsible if they are driving recklessly or negligently. Whatever the case may be, it is important to make sure you understand how dangerous these vehicles are and how often they can cause a crash.
ATV Related Injuries
While ATVs appear to be getting safer over time, they should still be considered dangerous. According to the CPSC, in 2007, ATV related crashes accounted for 150,900 injuries. Of those numbers, 40,000 of the injuries involved children under the age of 16, and 19,800 involved children under the age of 12. In 2014, the number dropped to 93,700 total injuries, down from 99,600 in 2013. While the number of injuries—total and for children under 16 and 12, respectively—are decreasing, 93,000 people is still a lot. These numbers only cover the United States and known crashes based on emergency department-treated injuries.
In 2014, the injuries sustained in ATV related crashes included:
- Contusions and / or abrasions: 22,300 injuries (24%)
- Fractures: 20,500 injuries (22%)
- Lacerations: 9,400 injuries (10%)
- Internal Organ Injuries: 9,600 Injuries (10%)
- Sprains / Strains: 14,500 injures (15%)
- Other injuries: 17,500 injuries (19%)
These injuries take into account all areas of the body with head and neck, and arm receiving the most treatment at 28% each. Of the 24,800 ATV related injuries sustained by children under the age of 16, 12% were either treated and admitted to the hospital or treated and transferred. Even individuals over the age of 55 were subject to the dangers of ATVs, with 5,300 documented emergency department-treated injuries.
ATV Related Fatalities
The CPSC reports that between 2004 and 2007, there were 3,971 reported deaths as a result of ATV related collisions. Of this number, 731 (18%) were children under the age of 16. Analyzing the data between 1982 and 2008 shows that 432 individuals in Florida were involved in ATV related fatalities. To no surprise, a majority of the crashes result in the summer months between May and September.
It is important to recognize the various ways that you can remain safe on an ATV. While you cannot completely prevent a crash from occurring, taking the proper precautions to protect yourself is important. This includes making sure you pay attention to any other vehicles or ATV riders around you and to follow the rules when riding. Always wear your helmet and any additional safety gear that can protect the rest of your body.
You may want to consider receiving training from a professional instructor. Make sure you stay off roads were other, larger vehicles are driving and never overload the ATV beyond the acceptable limits. The restrictions may seem like they are lessening the fun you may have, but they are there to keep you and every other rider safe and out of harm’s way.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an ATV related crash, call our firm to discuss your case with our Florida injury attorneys. We are ready to represent you and seek compensation for medical expenses as well as the physical and emotional damages related to the injuries you sustained.