The popularity of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) has increased over the years. In 2013, there were 228,305 new ATVs sold to consumers. But many question the safety of ATVs. According to data collected from ATV accidents in 2011 by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the number of adult fatalities has slightly declined, but the number of children who are injured has increased.
Statistics in the CPSC study highlighting the dangers of ATVs included:
- There were 107,500 people who received injuries in an ATV accident which were serious enough that they required treatment in an emergency room.
- There were 57 children killed in ATV accidents in 2011. This accounted for almost 20 percent of the total amount of fatalities. Forty-seven percent of children killed were under 12 years of age.
- There were 29,000 children under the age of 16 who received serious injuries in ATV accidents.
- More than half of vehicle riders were not wearing helmets when the accident occurred.
- The vehicle overturning was the cause of 60 percent of ATV accidents.
Several consumer groups are concerned with the amount of children who are killed or injured each year riding ATVs and have consistently urged the CPSC to not award approval of youth ATVs that would be manufactured specifically for children. These vehicles are capable of reaching speeds of 38 mph.
The CPSC recommends that children between the ages of 12 to 15 not ride an ATV that has an engine larger than 90 cubic centimeters. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation is that no child under the age of 16 rides on any ATV.
The use of ATVs is governed under Texas law. Every ATV must have a title before it is sold, and all ATVs must be registered with the state, with license renewal every year. ATVs are not allowed on public streets. If an ATV is being used on public land, the operator must have a safety certificate. While on public land, there are no passengers allowed on the vehicle unless it is designed specifically to hold more than one person. Anyone operating an ATV who is 14 years old or younger must be with a parent or guardian.
If you’ve been injured in an ATV accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.