Don’t mistake it driving on an ATV can be a dangerous thing to do. These vehicles are designed to tackle rough and uneven terrain as their name implies. However, these vehicles are often involved in accidents, and when they are, the injuries sustained are usually severe. ATV accidents happen all over the country and Rogers Arkansas is not excluded from this sad fact. When the weather gets warmer people tend to want to spend more time outdoors which means that during the summer the likelihood of an ATV accident happening increase.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident, 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.
What Is an All Terrain Vehicle?
The Arkansas Traffic Code provides in Chapter 21 §27-21-102 that an “All-terrain vehicle” means every three-wheeled, four-wheeled, or six-wheeled vehicle. In the past three wheel ATV’s were more common, however, these were phased out over the past few decades and now it is more common for ATVs to be four-wheeled vehicles. In addition, the Arkansas Legislature has provided that for a vehicle to be considered an ATV the vehicle has to be seventy-five inches (75″) or less in width, and have a dry weight of eight hundred pounds (800 lbs.) or less. The term “all-terrain vehicle” shall not include any golf cart, riding lawn mower, or lawn or garden tractor.
While these devices are fun to ride they can be a safety concern adult-sized ATVs have engines larger than 90cc, with an average range between 229cc and 649cc.A fully loaded ATV can weigh between 400 and 800 pounds and travel at speeds of well over 70 miles an hour. While manufacturers recommend that children under the age of 16 should not be allowed to operate an adult- sized ATV, and that children younger than six not ride on ATVs at all many people ignore these warnings and are subsequently injured.
Common ATV Injuries
ATV riders are very similar to motorcycle riders in terms of the type of injuries that they may face. And similar to motorcycle riders they experience a significantly higher amount of injuries that are considered to be severe. Nearly 75% of all ATV crashes result in debilitating brain and spinal cord injuries. Riding ATVs is in the same category as football and diving as being among the leading causes of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in kids under the age of 17.
Some of the more common injuries can include:
- Contusions/ abrasions
- Head or neck injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Leg injuries
According to ATVSafety.gov, these injuries were fairly distributed throughout the body. The most commonly injured part of the body was the arm (29% of all injuries), followed by the head or neck (28%), torso (22%), leg (20%, and other (1%). This means that in any accident there is a high probability that a person will sustain serious injuries.
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.
Let a Rogers, Arkansas ATV Accident Attorney Fight for You
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.