Driving an all-terrain vehicle can be fun, and many who drive them report feeling a sense of freedom. However, these vehicles can be dangerous and pose a threat to many on the road. While it is not permitted to drive an ATV on a public road or highway in Arkansas many people chose to ignore the laws. When this happens there is a higher probability that someone is going to be injured.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident don’t wait to contact an attorney, let the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak help you through this difficult time. We believe that negligent parties should be held accountable for their actions, and are experienced in all types of personal injury cases.
Different Types of Vehicles
It seems like the auto industry has perfected the art of coming up with new names for vehicles from sports utility vehicles to hybrid vehicles, and all-terrain vehicles, you may be confused what exactly an ATV is. As defined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a vehicle that travels on low-pressure tires, with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars for steering control. The Arkansas Legislature has considered an ATV a vehicle that is seventy-five inches (75″) or less in width and have a dry weight of eight hundred pounds (800 lbs.) or less.
Common Injuries from ATVs
While driving an ATV can be fun, there are many injuries that can result to both riders, passengers, and other vehicles that they may hit. In 2011, there were over 107,500 emergency room visits by people who were involved in a four-wheeler accident. In terms of the types of injuries suffered by ATV riders
- 26% of riders who were involved in an accident suffered contusions or abrasions.
- 23% of riders suffered fractures, which required medical attention.
- 17% had sprains or strains.
- 11% suffered lacerations
- 8% had internal organ injuries.
Some of the most common injuries from these accidents included:
- Contusions/ abrasions
- Head or neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Leg injuries
Traumatic brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most devastating injuries that a person can sustain. The brain is the seat of all of the bodily functions. Damage to the brain can cause problems with communication, cognitive abilities, focus, attention, and more.
If you decide to ride on an ATV you should always wear a helmet, it has been shown that helmets may reduce the risk of death by up to 42 percent according to Bratton SL, Keenan HT. All-terrain vehicle legislation for children: A comparison of a state with and without a helmet law.
Why Do ATV Accidents Happen?
ATV accidents often happen because a person is inexperienced or not able to handle the size and power of an ATV. Some of the factors associated with ATV-related injuries for youth under 16 years.
- Not using a helmet – when you are riding any sort of vehicle where you are exposed on all sides such as an ATV you should always wear a helmet.
- Poor judgment and risk-taking behaviors – Many people, particularly boys, get on an ATV and then engage in risky behaviors in an attempt to impress their friends or other people that are around them.
- Operating an ATV larger than that recommended for their size and age – The Arkansas Legislature has declared that children under the age of 12 should not operate an ATV without adult supervision, however even when there is adult supervision the size of the vehicle can pose a problem.
- Lack of physical size, strength, and coordination to operate an ATV – Driving an ATV is a skill, and there are courses that a person can take to learn the skills necessary to properly drive an ATV. In addition, even if a person has been trained how to ride one of these devices, they may still lack the physical strength to operate these vehicles effectively.
- Operating on public roads, streets, and highways – It is illegal for a person to operate an ATV on a public road, street or highway in Arkansas save for a few exceptions pertaining to farm workers who may be crossing a road to get to another field. However, those who do operate their ATV’s on public roads, highways, and streets are often in accidents, which can result in severe injuries.
- Riding with a passenger – riding with a passenger changes how vehicle drives, turns and even stops. In addition, many ATV’s are not designed for multiple people to be on them at the same time.
There are many other reasons that a person may be involved in an accident with an ATV. You should always be cautious when you are driving an ATV and avoid driving on a public street.
Contact a Fayetteville ATV Accident Attorney
To speak with an experienced Fayetteville, Arkansas personal injury attorney, call the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online.