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ATV Accidents on Public Roads

Posted on in Personal Injury
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DuPage County auto accident lawyer, ATV crashes, ATV accidents, fatal accident, personal injury claimsHow often do accidents involving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) occur in DuPage County? When and where do most of these collisions occur, and are certain age groups at greater risk of being involved in a crash?

Motor vehicles come in many different forms, from large trucks to motorcycles. According to the Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII), almost all vehicles that are self-propelled and capable of transporting at least one person are considered motor vehicles as long as they can exceed 25 miles per hour on paved surfaces and have safety features designed for “safe and practical street or highway use.”

Given these terms, is an ATV a motor vehicle? While it might not be safe beyond off-road use, many DuPage County residents make the mistake of assuming ATVs are safe to drive at high speeds on public roads, and crashes occur.

Thousands of ATV Crashes on Paved Public Roads

According to a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), although ATVs are usually prohibited on public roads which are typically paved (these vehicles are designed for off-road use), taking an ATV onto a public road can lead to serious and fatal accidents. Between 2007 and 2011, there were approximately 1,700 deaths tied to ATV crashes that occurred on public roads. Around two thirds of all fatal ATV accidents occur on paved surfaces—both public and private roads—even though these vehicles are not designed for use on paved surfaces.

If ATVs do not have the safety features required to make them safe to use on public roads, including local streets and highways, why do people insist on using ATVs for reasons other than off-roading?

According to the study, ATVs are capable of reaching highway speeds. As such, many riders assume that they can take an ATV onto a public road. However, these vehicles simply are not designed for paved surfaces. As the study underscores, “their low-pressure tires are not designed for paved surfaces,” and “many models are apt to roll over.”

Given that such a high percentage of fatal ATV accidents occur on paved public roads, it is important to recognize that these crashes are preventable. Are there particular populations we need to target with awareness messages?

Age is a Determining Factor in Deadly ATV Crashes

If ATVs were only used as off-road vehicles, the IIHS study suggests that we would see a sharp decline in deadly ATV accidents. To raise awareness, the study also intimates that we need to target younger males who are riding ATVs. Indeed, “the vast majority of ATV riders killed in crashes on public roads are 16 or older and male.” For the most part, those riders are between the ages of 16 and 24, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and few of them wear helmets.

The following are safety tips from the CPSC to avoid serious and fatal ATV crashes:

  • Never drive an ATV on a paved road;
  • Do not allow anyone under the age of 16 to drive or ride on an ATV;
  • Do not drive an ATV with a passenger;
  • Never ride as a passenger on an ATV;
  • Always wear a helmet;
  • Always wear protective gear, like eye protections, boots, gloves, pants, and long sleeves; and
  • Take a safety training course in proper ATV use.

Contact a DuPage County Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer

ATVs can collide with automobiles, trucks, and other motor vehicles when they are used on public roads. To learn more about filing a motor vehicle accident claim, you should speak with a passionate DuPage County auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC for more information.

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/85.1703

https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/ATV-Safety-Information-Center

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/48/9/2

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