All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are popular in Georgia, especially in rural areas where they’re often used on farms, for hunting, or simply ridden for fun. Riders should know, however, that ATVs are inherently dangerous and easy to crash, and in the event of an accident, serious injuries are likely. In fact, more than 130,000 injuries were attributed to ATV accidents in 2012, and more than 550 adults and 140 children die in ATV accidents each year.
State and federal laws are in place to govern the manufacture and sale of ATVs. When manufacturers and retailers fail to follow these laws and introduce unsafe products into the marketplace, they may be held liable for resulting injuries and damages.Dangers Associated with Three-Wheelers and Four-Wheelers
Under Georgia law, the term “off-road vehicle” means any motorized vehicle designed for, or capable of, cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain and not intended for use predominately on public roads. Four-wheelers, three-wheelers, and many other low-pressure tire vehicles fall under this definition. Most ATVs are intended for use by a single operator and are not designed to carry a second rider or passenger.
According to the National Trauma Data Bank, ATVs are more dangerous than dirt bikes (because they often cause crush injuries) and as dangerous as motorcycles, based on fatality and injury data. If you do choose to operate an ATV, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges riders to follow these rules to avoid accidents and injuries:
- Do not drive ATVs on paved roads.
- Do not allow a child under 16 to drive or ride on an adult ATV.
- Do not drive ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger.
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Take a hands-on safety training course.
The most common injury-causing ATV accidents involve the vehicle rolling or flipping over. When an ATV turns upside down, the driver (and passenger) can be thrown from the vehicle, or pinned under it. Serious injuries that may result from this type of accident include traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), neck injury, fractures, dislocations, chest injuries, and abdominal injuries.Contact Us if You’ve Been Injured in an ATV Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident, do not hesitate to contact the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC in Atlanta. During your free initial consultation, we can discuss your options for receiving compensation for your injuries and damages. We represent clients in Atlanta, Marietta, Duluth, Jonesboro and throughout the State of Georgia. Please call (404) 460-0101.