With summer almost upon us, our law firm thought it would be a good idea to talk about off-roading with all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). While they may be fun to drive, ATVs are also unstable and susceptible to rollovers if you drive too fast and don’t put into place the proper safety measures. Let’s take a look at some statistics and other important facts to remember when operating an ATV.
ATV Crash Statistics
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides data regarding ATV injuries and fatalities. In the most recent year for which statistics are available:
- An estimated 93,800 ATV-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms in the U.S.
- Approximately 26% of these injuries involved children younger than 16 years of age.
- Of the 93,800 treated ATV injuries, 15% were hospitalized and 83% were treated and released.
- ATV injuries treated in emergency rooms primarily affected the arm from the shoulder to the fingertips (29%), head or neck (29%), leg (21%), and torso (20%).
- 15,250 ATV fatalities were reported to CPSC occurred between 1982 and 2017.
- 3,315 of the reported deaths were children younger than 16, and 1,450 of those were younger than 12.
- 295 people died in ATV accidents in the U.S. in the most recent year for which statistics are available.
Types of ATV Accidents
The two most frequently occurring and most devastating types of ATV accidents are rollovers and collisions. Tire blowouts on ATVs may also lead to serious or catastrophic injuries. Rollovers are the most common type of ATV accident. In an ATV, rollovers can be frontal, side, or rear. All rollovers are equally dangerous. The driver can be thrown from the vehicle or crushed. Rollovers occur at even higher frequency when off-road ATVs are operated on paved roads. This is because all terrain vehicles are designed to be driven off-road, not on asphalt.
ATV accidents can also be caused less frequently by product defects or faulty vehicle design. Regardless of how the accident occurs, it’s important to remember that ATV accidents can lead to serious, catastrophic, or even fatal injuries. Fortunately, in cases in which another party’s negligence was the cause of the incident, the injured person may be able to recover compensation from the liable parties involved.
How Are ATV Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
ATVs are quite different than automobiles, as they typically have no doors, windows, airbags, roll protection, and many other standard safety features found on cars, trucks, and other standard vehicles. Due to the lack of safety features, the potential for serious injuries in a crash is very high.
Most car accidents are the result of some type of negligent driving conduct. An ATV accident could be the result of a defective design or a faulty product, which will require filing a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the vehicle and other potentially liable parties in your case.
How Can an Attorney Help Me with My ATV Injury?
ATV accidents can cause serious injuries that may require extensive medical treatment and time away from work, school, or other activities. If the negligence of another party may have caused your ATV wreck and injuries, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the incident. Many of the critical steps in a successful claim or lawsuit must occur in the early days after an ATV accident. We can:
- Carefully investigate your accident to determine cause and liability
- Obtain and preserve evidence in your case
- Craft legal strategies based upon the facts
- Negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf
- Fight for the compensation you deserve in court, when necessary
At NorstrandBlack PC, we represent injured people throughout Southern California, including the communities of Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Camarillo, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Goleta, Isla Vista, Santa Maria, Vandenberg, Santa Ynez, and Solvang.
If you or your loved one has been hurt in an ATV accident, call NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 for dedicated legal representation. Our Santa Barbara personal injury attorneys have more than 30 years of experience. We work on a contingency fee basis and offer a free initial consultation.