How Dangerous Are ATVs?

A fatal ATV accident brought tragedy close to home earlier this month in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. It’s not exactly clear yet what caused the crash, according to WPXI News, but at least one person died as a result of riding an ATV along McGeary Hollow Road in Allegheny Township, Westmoreland County.

If you or any of your loved ones use an ATV for recreation or work, it’s important to know the risks that these vehicles carry. Let’s take a look at just how dangerous ATVs are and what you can do to avoid deadly accidents.

135,000 people are injured every year due to ATV accidents. Over 700 people are killed in these accidents every year and approximately 1/3 of the people killed in ATV accidents each year are under the age of 16, according to HG.Legal. Trauma surgeons and public health researchers say that people are far more likely to die after ATV accidents than after motorcycle accidents.

ATVs can be unstable and hard to control, particularly at high speeds. Rollovers and collisions happen often, and some of these are fatal, warns KidsHealth. At 600+ pounds, ATVs have large, powerful engines that allow speeds of over 65 mph. Their high center of gravity and lack of roll bars, safety cages, or seatbelts means they can tip easily, throw riders and passengers off, and even roll over on top of riders. This can cause serious injury or death, usually because of head injuries.

Safety Guidelines

HG.Legal reports that many ATV injuries could have been prevented if proper safety advice was followed. If you choose to use an ATV, follow these safety guidelines:

  • Kids age 16 and younger should not ride an ATV.
  • Take a safety training course to learn how to operate an ATV safely, and only ride an ATV that’s right for your size and age. Learn more at the ATV Safety Institute’s website.
  • Always wear an approved helmet and eye protection.
  • Wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves, and over-the-ankle boots to help prevent scrapes and cuts.
  • Only ride during daylight hours.
  • Always ride at a safe speed on a designated ATV trail.
  • Know basic first aid to treat minor injuries, and be able to get help in an emergency.
  • Never ride on a three-wheel ATV.
  • Never ride while drinking alcohol or using drugs.
  • Never ride on paved surfaces or public roads (except to cross them).
  • Never exceed the number of passengers recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Never let kids and teens drive an ATV with a passenger.

If You’re Injured In An ATV Accident

Many ATV accidents involve the negligence or recklessness of the driver or another person nearby, says HG.Legal. If you’ve been injured because of negligent or reckless use of an ATV, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. Contact our Pittsburgh office at (412) 918-1241 or online.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building

304 Ross Street, Suite 510

Pittsburgh, PA, 15219

Phone: (412) 918-1241

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