All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) can be exciting and fun, but they can also be extremely dangerous, particularly to children. In fact, a study performed by researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences reveals that fatal accidents were most commonly the result of children riding adult-sized ATVs or children that were not wearing safety helmets. Ninety-five percent of the ATV accidents that result in a fatality in the study involved victims that were riding large vehicles. Despite warnings and media attention revealing the dangers of allowing children to ride large ATVs, many kids are still getting hurt or killed by adult-sized ATVs. A child should not be allowed to ride (even as a passenger) on adult-sized ATVs.
Think we are being too dramatic? You may be surprised to learn that in the United States, more children are killed in ATV crashes than in bicycle wrecks. Parents often underestimate the dangers of riding on ATVs. Additionally, most children lack the physical or cognitive maturity that is required to properly operate a large ATV. A child has smaller body mass which makes it more difficult to balance the ATV through weight shifting or stay on the vehicle when hitting bumps. Additionally, a child’s hands may be too small to properly grip the steering or operating the brakes.
In addition to children riding adult-sized ATVs and failure to wear a helmet while riding, other factors that significantly increase the risk of a child fatality include:
· Riding the ATV on a concrete or asphalt road
· Riding as a passenger on the ATV
· Driving with a passenger on the ATV
One of the most important things you can do to keep your child safe when riding an ATV is require him or her to attend a training class before riding the vehicle. It is recommended that your child be at least 16 years of age before he or she is allowed to operate an ATV. You should also require your child to wear a helmet and eye protection while riding on the ATV and instruct your child to avoid driving on a roadway. Your child should drive a smaller-sized ATV and only rides it during daylight hours.
If you’ve been injured in an ATV or auto accident that was not your fault you have the right to receive compensation. The attorneys of Murphy & Garner, LLC, have over 32 years of experience serving accident victims in western Georgia and the surrounding area. We will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at (866) 942-0552 or (678) 563-1584.