All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) use is popular in Texas and around the US. Operating these vehicles, however, also poses certain risks.
One example comes from a recent accident in Odessa, in which a 14-year-old boy operating an ATV needed hospitalization after he reportedly got hit by a car. Although he was the injured party, the teen received tickets for improper driving behavior.
What are some of the risks of ATV use?
- Letting children operate or ride as passengers on adult ATVs. According to ATVSafety.govguidelines, children under 16 shouldn’t drive or ride as a passenger on adult-sized ATVs. There are junior models for kids of different ages; these are smaller and go at a lower speed than adult ATVs. Furthermore, children under 6 shouldn’t operate or ride as a passenger on ATVs at all, not even on a junior model. (And, in fact, no one should transport passengers on an ATV, because passengers can hamper a driver’s ability to control the vehicle.)
- Poor preparation for ATV use. This includes a lack of training on how to handle an ATV safely. It also means using an ATV without the right protective gear, including a helmet that’s high-quality and well-fitted. People might also fail to prepare for an ATV trip by mapping out the terrain in advance.
- Reckless driving. This includes speeding and operating an ATV while intoxicated.
- Ignorance of road restrictions. ATVs generally don’t belong on paved, public roads. Even in areas where it might be legal (and a September 2014 article from The Odessa Record discusses legality), there are serious safety issues for an ATV operating on pavement and sharing space with larger motor vehicles.
Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Odessa personal injury lawyer after an ATV accident. We urge you to keep safety in mind while enjoying your ATV in order to reduce the risk of accident and injury.