California is in the top five states when it comes to total reported deaths due to all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use. For the reported years of 1982-2014, the Golden State lost 680 people in ATV crashes.
California laws contain more requirements to enhance ATV safety than many other states:
- significant age and supervision requirements for minors;
- a helmet requirement when riding on public lands; and
- a passenger restriction when riding on public lands, limiting passengers to those the vehicle is designed to carry.
Still, crashes occur, some fatal. In fact, nationwide, nearly 14,000 people have lost their lives in ATV-related crashes. Sadly, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that almost 25 percent of these fatalities were children less than 16 years old.
In addition to these fatalities, in 2014 alone, 93,700 people were treated for emergency injuries due to ATVs. Most of the injuries were breaks and bruises.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid a deadly ATV crash.
First, some people should not ride ATVs. This includes anyone who is impaired, as well as children under age 16. Although California law provides for supervised riding of younger operators, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that young kids lack both the maturity and the motor skills to ride safely.
Second, all riders and passengers (when legal) should wear a helmet. This is a requirement under California law, and it is also the right thing to do to prevent unnecessary deaths and to lessen injuries received in ATV crashes. It is also a good idea to wear reflective clothing and eye protection.
Finally, avoid riding on streets. Although California law allows riding on designated streets and crossing streets, a recent study found that on-road crashes hurt riders more than off-road crashes.
If you or a loved one suffered major injuries due in an ATV accident, contact the San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP right away at 888.777.1776. We have decades of experience representing accident victims and their families. Call now: Delay could harm your case.