All Terrain Vehicles or ATVs are a popular past time for many West Virginians. ATVs are used by both teens and adults alike for fun and to haul heavy items. However, ATVs are dangerous, even when operated properly and oftentimes, ATV accidents lead to serious personal injuries.
In 2010 alone, The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that there were over 100,000 ATV-related injuries that required an emergency room visit. Because of this, it is important to follow some basic safety rules every time you ride to help prevent injury to yourself and any passengers you may have on the ATV.
· Take a safety training course: These courses teach drivers how to handle and properly maneuver an ATV. Drivers who understand and appreciate how to properly drive an ATV are less likely to suffer from serious injuries. Additionally, in West Virginia, it is required that a driver of an ATV under the age of 18 take a safety course prior to driving such a vehicle.
· Always wear a helmet: Most ATV injuries lead to traumatic brain injuries. These types of injuries are severe and can be permanent. Be sure to obtain and use a U.S. Department of Transportation-certified helmet before riding.
· Avoid paved roads: ATVs are not designed for use on paved roads. The weight ratio and tire pressure in most ATVs are meant for off road handling. When an ATV is on a paved road, it can be difficult for the driver to maneuver the ATV.
· Be careful with passengers: Depending on the ATV only one person should use the equipment. If the ATV can accommodate a passenger, it is important that the driver can easily shift their position and weight to adapt to the off road driving conditions. A passenger on the ATV can hinder the driver’s ability to do this.
· Do not drink and drive: Just like driving a car, driving an ATV requires a driver’s full attention. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can delay a driver’s reaction time and lead to serious injuries.
While ATVs can be enjoyable, they can also lead to devastating injuries. If an individual has been injured because of another’s carelessness with an ATV, navigating the insurance issues that arise out of the injuries can be difficult. That is why an attorney is often needed. The attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group are experienced in finding insurance coverage for injuries and can help you navigate this difficult process.