The use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) is mostly unregulated by both federal and Pennsylvania laws. These vehicles have an engine, four low-pressure tires, some suspension, a straddle seat, and a pair of handlebars. Classes on the safe operation of these vehicles are available, but most ATV buyers ignore them or don’t even know about them. Given their availability and price when compared to even a small car, more and more ATVs are being purchased and used off-road. Sadly, the number of serious off-road accidents is steadily on the rise too. Their design makes them particularly vulnerable to rolling over or flipping forward or backward, especially when turning or on inclines.
4 Wheeler Accident Statistics
As per the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 800 people die in ATV accidents every year. About another 140,000 are injured. The CPSC warns that ATVs aren’t toys. They’re powerful and inherently dangerous vehicles that can kill a person.
Recent Local 4 Wheeler Accidents
Nearly all ATVs are designed for the purposes of carrying a single individual. Carrying a passenger on an ATV drastically increases the risk of an accident and injuries. Strict highly visible warnings about carrying passengers appear in ATV owner manuals and on ATVs themselves. Regardless of those conspicuous warnings, many people simply ignore the dangers of having more than one rider on an ATV. For example, in October 2018, a 23-year-old Pleasantville man died in an Atlantic County ATV crash between Washington Avenue and Black Horse Pike. According to NJ.com, his 19-year-old cousin who was also on the ATV was severely injured. The two men were riding the vehicle across Route 9 on a bike path at about 1:30 p.m. when the ATV hit a minivan. Both men were ejected from the ATV. One of them hit the van and another car. The other man struck the same car.
How Passengers Can Cause ATV Accidents
Nearly all ATVs combine a high center of gravity with a short and narrow wheelbase. Even with a single rider, that engineering makes them vulnerable to rolling over on curves or flipping one way or another on inclines. Given those characteristics, active riding is called for. That’s when the rider shifts his or her center of gravity while maintaining foot and hand position in order to maintain control of the ATV. Loss of control can result in driving into a stationary object like a tree, a rollover, flip or ejection from the ATV. In an active riding situation, a passenger might zig when he or she should have zagged on rough terrain. That’s enough for a catastrophic accident. Passenger visibility ahead of the ATV is obstructed, and passengers aren’t likely to react on a timely basis to quick changes in terrain or direction. Passengers also create extra distractions in conditions that require the driver’s utmost and uninterrupted skills and attention.
Contact an Experienced ATV Accidents Attorney
ATV accidents are always difficult cases. If you or somebody close to you has been injured in an ATV accident anywhere near Philadelphia, you’ll want to speak with an experienced, aggressive, and effective ATV accident lawyer. We offer a free consultation and case evaluation without any obligation at all. We can determine what compensation might be due along with who might be held liable for your injuries. Contact us right away for that free consultation.
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