ATVs, or All-Terrain Vehicles, have exploded in popularity over the past generation in the United States. Anyone who drives by what appear to be abandoned fields or deserted areas has likely seen ATV riders moving up and down hills and across paths while enjoying a day of fun. Anyone who has spent time on a farm or a ranch has probably seen people using these vehicles for more work-related activities, as they can also be quite useful. ATVs came about more for work-related purposes, but they have also drawn avid riders from across the demographic spectrum. Unfortunately, this has also meant that over the past 20 years, ATV accidents in the United States have increased sharply. While these vehicles are powerful and they are engineered to be able to handle off-road terrain, there are limitations inherent in them that can make them dangerous for people who do not drive them correctly. As such, several different groups have been tracking the statistics that relate to ATV accidents, and one such group has recently released its latest set of statistics regarding these crashes. Sadly, it appears that ATV accidents are happening more instead of less frequently. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, or the CPSC, has recently released statistics regarding these crashes on a national scale. The agency reports that every year in the United States, approximately 135,000 people are injured in these crashes and more than 800 people are killed. In particular, the number of injuries to young people under the age of 19 has increased dramatically over the past decade. ATV accidents can occur in a number of different ways, but there are some causes for these crashes that are more common than others. Examples include:
- Taking corners with too much speed
- Jumping and landing improperly
- Riding on pavement which can make it harder to control these vehicles
- Attempting to ride an ATV in traffic on roads
There are many other causes to crashes, but these appear to be the ones that are causing the most harm. Generally speaking, ATVs are not built to handle sudden movements and turns. They have a relatively narrow wheelbase and they are heavy, which means that cornering is something that needs to be done with caution. In addition, most ATVs are meant for only one rider, and people who take passengers along with them can cause problems in terms of weight distribution. This can lead to falls and to rollovers that would not otherwise happen with only one person on the vehicle. People who drive ATVs need to be careful and they need to respect the possibility that these large machines can cause permanent damage or worse. People who have been badly injured in an ATV accident that was caused by someone’s negligence need to take steps to make sure that their legal rights and options are being evaluated. If this includes you or someone you love, contact the Las Vegas accident lawyers at Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.