An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is defined as “any motor vehicle with two or more wheels that is no wider than 70 inches and weighs no more than 1,000 pounds.” ATVs are commonly used in the United States for recreational purposes, however, ATVs can also be extremely dangerous, and are known to cause severe injuries that might otherwise be prevented. The United States government has implemented numerous regulations and guidelines to prevent ATV-caused injuries and death.
ATV Accidents and Injuries
ATVs are specifically designed for off-road usage. Injuries often result where ATVs are not used as they were intended, and unfortunately, a large number of those injured are children under the age of 16.
Some of the injuries caused by ATVs include: broken bones, face and head injuries such as concussions and severe brain trauma. Factors that contribute to the high number of accidents are: speed, alcohol, unsafe weather conditions, drugs, unawareness of hazardous conditions, reckless or negligent driving and a defective ATV.
Prevention of Accidents Involving ATVs
Driver adherence to the following precautions can often prevent ATV accidents:
- Not speeding
- Not driving ATVs while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Being aware of weather conditions before using an ATV
- Following safety recommendations
- Using ATVs off-road only
Due to the high number of injury and death reports associated with the usage of ATVs, the U.S. government closely regulates ATV manufacturers. For example, whereas ATVs were once permitted to be “vehicles with two or more wheels,” ATVs are now required to have no less than four wheels, since three-wheeled ATVs have a poor safety record because of rollovers.
Individuals injured by ATVs driven by another, as well as injured drivers of ATVs, have sued manufacturers for defective ATVs, and may be compensated.