Just like any vehicle – recreational or otherwise – all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) can be both fun and dangerous. Unfortunately, left in inexperienced hands, ATVs can cause serious personal injury and even death.
Below are six tips to help you and your family have the safest possible fun on an all-terrain vehicle.
1. Take an ATV Safety Course
Search for ATV training courses in your area. You can learn about your all-terrain vehicle’s basic mechanics, how to handle your ATV in certain driving conditions, and the safety tips you need to know when riding with a group of ATVs.
2. Wear Protective Gear
Gear up for riding ATVs just as you would if you were riding a motorcycle:
- Helmets. (Some states require helmets. Contact your local motor vehicle department for details.)
- Sturdy boots.
- Eye protection.
- Leather or strong jean pants and jackets.
Wearing these types of protective gear could mean the difference between surviving a crash and suffering a serious personal injury.
3. No Passengers Allowed!
It’s tempting, but it’s just not safe. Because ATVs are designed for interactive driving, an operator needs to be able to shift his or her body weight to go with the flow of the ride. It’s dangerous and unlikely two individuals can accomplish this task at once, and failure to do so can lead to ATV accidents.
Besides, many all-terrain vehicles are made to fit just one individual, anyway.
4, Keep Children Off Adult ATVs
Most children (generally, those younger than 16 years old) are too small to sufficiently operate adult-sized all-terrain vehicles. Adult ATVs are designed for larger, stronger bodies. If you allow your child to operate an ATV, purchase one that’s designed for children.
Also note that some states have laws about age-requirements for operating ATVs. Be sure to contact your local motor vehicle department for details before allowing your child to drive an ATV.
5. Don’t Operate Your ATV on Paved Roads
Although they’re called “all-terrain vehicles,” technically ATVs aren’t designed to operate on paved roads; thus, such terrains can cause accidents with other motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
6. Never Ride Under the Influence
It’s just as dangerous to operate an all-terrain vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs as it is to operate any other motor vehicle while you’re impaired. If you’ve been drinking or taken any sort of drug (whether prescription, over-the-counter, or recreational), chances are your judgment is impaired and you could cause an accident that results in personal injury to yourself or others.
Have You Been Injured in an ATV Accident?
If you’ve suffered a personal injury related to an all-terrain vehicle accident, contact the law offices of Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. today. Serving the Boca Raton, Orlando, and West Palm Beach areas, we provide a free consultation to listen to the details of your case and determine how to best move forward to get you the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at 561-687-5660.
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