Safety Hazards and All-Terrain Vehicles
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are rapidly becoming one of the most popular recreational vehicles on the market. As their name implies, ATVs are high-powered, high-speed vehicles intended for use in off-road areas. While the structural designs of individual ATVs may vary, the most common and popular variation is similar to a motorcycle body mounted on four large wheels. With a rigid rear axle to promote skidding, ATVs are ideal for off-road adventuring – but not necessarily the safest way to do so.
The US government estimates that as many as 870 people died in ATV-related accidents in 2005, with another 136,000 injured to the point of needing emergency treatment. Why are ATVs so dangerous?
- Size and weight – ATVs are incredibly powerful machines, capable of reaching speeds of 70 miles per hour or more. Furthermore, because they are open vehicles, ATVs lack many of the safety features of regular automobiles.
- Rider inexperience – Many ATV riders are children or teenagers searching for a thrill – and many of these do not have the physical capability or experience to adequately handle a machine as powerful as an ATV. Putting children on adult-sized ATVs can be even more dangerous.
- Uneven terrain – The very nature of off-road driving carries significant risk, as riders encounter uneven, unfamiliar, and often treacherous terrain – all at very high speeds.
- Rollover tendency – ATVs are notorious for their rollover accidents. While a variety of factors (terrain, speed, handling) can contribute to rollovers, the hazard should not be ignored.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in an ATV crash caused by the negligence of another person or company, contact Wausau personal injury lawyer at 715-387-4242 today.