For many West Virginians, a favorite past time is riding an ATV. ATVs and Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTV) can be both practical and fun. These vehicles can be used around your property to assist in many things from clearing brush, to gardening. These vehicles are also often used to assist hunters bring deer in from out of the woods.
Unfortunately, when not used properly, these vehicles pose serious risk to drivers and riders. Many ATV and UTV accidents occur as roll-over type wrecks. These wrecks often result in severe injuries, and in some instances, death.
When riding an ATV or UTV, it is important to know the laws in the state of West Virginia. West Virginia Law prohibits an individual under the age of 18 to operate an ATV or UTV without first completing a safety awareness course. These courses are offered free through the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. Without a certification of completion from this course, an individual under the age of 18 cannot legally operate an ATV or UTV in West Virginia unless the individual is operating the ATV on a public or private recreation trail or area affiliated with a trail that has its own safety program in place.
Additionally, these vehicles are not to be used on any interstate highway, except in emergency situations, on any road or highway with a center line or more than two lanes of traffic, except for crossing the road; or with a passenger under the age of eighteen, unless the operator has, at a minimum, a level two intermediate driver’s license or is at least eighteen years old. Further, any rider under the age of eighteen must wear a size appropriate helmet that meets current performance specifications established by the United States Department of Transportation.
ATVs also cause problems after an individual has been injured. Navigating the insurance claims process for an ATV wreck is difficult and requires particular attention to insurance policy language. An attorney experienced in handling ATV claims can best assist you in seeking insurance coverage after an ATV accident.