For many Central New Yorkers, riding four wheelers and ATVs are an exhilarating way to see beautiful landscapes and trails. Nonetheless, all vehicles come with safety concerns and an ATV does not escape the risk of injuries and collisions. In 2015, there were approximately 97,200 injuries caused by an ATV. 28 percent of them involved children under the age of 16. In a recent study, New York is among the top ten states for ATV collisions. Since 1982, there have been 484 deaths from an ATV crash in New York, many of which could have been prevented.
Dangers of ATVs
Though ATVs are fun for recreational use, they also come with risks. ATVs can be unstable and difficult to control on multiple surfaces. Speed increases the risk of an ATV accident as well. A very common incident is a rollover, where the ATV loses balance and rolls to the side or upside down. Adult ATVs typically weigh over 800 pounds, meaning a rollover could cause life-threatening injuries. If a driver is inexperienced operating an ATV, riding on different types of land can be challenging to control, another factor of accidents. Forests and trails have many obstacles for riders including trees, fallen branches, or even animals. Driving near a road increases the chance of collision with another vehicle which could be fatal as riders are less protected on an ATV.
Most Common ATV Injuries
When it comes to accidents, there are a few types of ATV injuries more common than others. According to CPSC.gov, the head and neck are the most common wound with 28,300 injuries reported to the Emergency Department in 2015. Head injuries are some of the most serious fatal and non-fatal injuries as a result of an ATV accident. It is especially dangerous because during the moments following the crash, it may not even look like the person is injured. Brain injuries often require extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation and costly medical bills.
The top types of ATV injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Skull Fractures
- Cerebral contusion
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Broken arms
- Crushed Wrists
- Loss of limb
- Broken Ribs
- Internal Organ Damage
Cost of Medical Treatment from ATV Injuries
If you are injured in an ATV accident, the cost of your injuries can be shocking. A recent study found that if six Americans were permanently disabled in an ATV crash, it may cost as much as $11.5 million to cover basic long-term care if a person lives to the age of 65 years old. For some people, broken bones make it difficult to perform their job; and, paralysis may make it nearly impossible for them to work. Head and spinal cord injuries require extensive physical therapy that can be costly as well. As a result, victims of ATV crashes are not only paying for medical care but also may no longer have income from work or medical benefits available through their employer.
8 ATV Safety Tips for Preventing an Accident
Injuries while riding an ATV can often be prevented. Take a look at our top 8 ATV safety tips:
- Avoid paved roads – ATVs are designed for off-roading and are difficult to control on smooth surfaces. Driving an ATV on paved roads increases the risk of overturning or being hit by a car.
- Do not ride with a passenger – Though it sounds fun to ride in pairs, overloading the ATV with two riders will make it more difficult for the driver to control the vehicle and increases the chances of overturning.
- Do not allow a child under 16 to drive an adult ATV – ATVs are not toys. They are very powerful vehicles that can cause death. Adult-sized ATVs are too large and heavy for children to control. A youth model is more appropriate for those under the age of 16.
- Do not ride an ATV under the influence of alcohol – You know not to drink and drive, the same goes for ATVs. Alcohol can impair your vision and judgment and cause an accident, thereby making you more vulnerable on an ATV since you are exposed to outside elements.
- Avoid speeding – Riding on rough terrain is risky enough, speed increases the likelihood of losing control of the vehicle and causing an accident.
- Carry a communication device – Whether it is your cell phone or a walkie talkie, always have a form of communication with another person while riding an ATV. This way you can call for help in case of an emergency.
- Take a safety course – With ATVs being so popular in Central New York, there are several classes you can take to learn more about ATV safety. These classes will allow you to ask any questions you have and learn how to stay safe straight from ATV professionals.
- Always wear a helmet – The most common injury on an ATV is traumatic brain injury. Protect your head and always wear a helmet while operating an ATV.
Riding an ATV can be exhilarating and fun, but accidents do happen. If you’ve been injured in an ATV accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, The People’s Lawyer can help. As lawyers having experience with ATV accidents in Central New York, Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi and Pearlman is here for you or your loved ones if an ATV accident does occur. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about possible compensation.
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