How Common are ATV Accidents?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Wayne D. Parsons with Wayne Parsons Law Office.
All-Terrain Vehicles or ATV accidents don’t often make the news, but they happen more often than people think. Unfortunately, injuries sustained in ATV accidents can be severe due in part to the relative lack of protection afforded to riders compared to standard passenger vehicles. Rollover injuries are a particularly common hazard amongst ATV enthusiasts, as are brain injuries sustained in accidents where the rider was not wearing a helmet.
Young riders are particularly susceptible to ATV injuries, with 11% of the ATV fatalities in 2016 belonging to children under the age of 16 according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In fact, since 1980 more than 15,000 fatalities have been attributed to ATV accidents. ATVs can be a fun way to get outside and experience a thrill, but safety has to be of utmost importance. When safety is not a primary focus and an ATV accident occurs, the consequences can be catastrophic.
The following ATV accident statistics reveal an alarming commonality:
- The annual total of ATV injuries and accidents increased by 50% from 1982 to 2017. ~ Motoshark.
- More than 25% of injuries caused by ATVs were sustained by riders under the age of 16. ~ Motoshark
- ATV accidents are more common among men between the ages of 18 and 30 years old. ~ Motoshark
- Drivers of ATVs are more likely to suffer severe injuries than their passengers, although injuries occur to both. ~ Motoshark
- In one year, 107,500 emergency room visits were related to ATV accidents. ~ Motoshark
- Most ATV accident deaths occur in the month of July, followed by May and June. ~ CPSC
- In one year, 27% of ATV injuries were to the head or neck, 29% to the arms and hands, 22% to the legs and feet, 20% to the torso, and 2% elsewhere on the body. ~ CPSC
- On average, 532 adults and 77 children die each year in ATV accidents. ~ CPSC
- 32% of ATV accidents occur on paved roads, a surface not approved or intended for ATVs. ~ CPSC
- Fractures and contusions are the most common injuries sustained in ATV accidents. ~ CPSC
- The percentage of fatalities involving four-wheel ATVs increased exponentially from 1985 to 2018. ~ CPSC
While ATV accidents may not be as common as car accidents, this is considered to have much more to do with the fact that most adults own a car whereas many people have never even operated an ATV.
One of the biggest problems with ATVs is their rollover risk.
Some refer to this rollover risk as a design defect. While riding at low speeds and following ATV safety rules can help mitigate this risk, even in accidents that are not primarily caused by operator error rollovers as possible. Unsurprisingly, when a heavy vehicle rolls over you or sends you flying, the potential for injuries is serious. The ATV Safety Institute advises riders to wear helmets approved by the Department of Transportation in addition to goggles, gloves, long sleeves, pants, and over-the-ankle boots. Additionally, just as standard vehicle drivers should never attempt to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, neither should ATV riders. Drugs and alcohol can make a bad ATV accident worse, often resulting in severe and even fatal situations.
If you or a loved one were injured on an ATV and suspect someone else may be at fault, reach out to an ATV accident attorney in your area to learn more about your options.