Florida ATV Accidents Increase Over Summer Months
All terrain vehicles, such as sport bikes, side by sides, and utility ATVs, are popular among all ages groups, but particularly among young people. Though thrilling to ride, failing to follow the proper safety precautions can increase your risks for potentially life threatening accidental injuries. The following are tips designed to protect you as either a driver or a passenger.
Florida ATV Accidents and Injuries
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Florida is ranked sixth in the nation for the number of ATV-related fatalities that occur each year. More than 500 people have been killed in accidents in our state, and nearly a quarter of all victims are under the age of 16.
The number of ATV accidents typically surges over the summer months, and a simple Google search in our area shows how potentially deadly these accidents can be. A recent crash reported by US News and World Reports on July 11, 2017 involving an 11-year-old Ocala girl who was killed while riding as a passenger is one of several accidents that claimed the lives of at least five people over the past few months.
Along with fatal accidents, the CPSC reports that ATC crashes and collisions were responsible for close to 100,000 injuries in 2015. Common types of injuries include:
- Soft tissue injuries, including muscle and tendon strains and tears;
- Broken bones and fractures;
- Abdominal injuries and damage to internal organs;
- Back and neck injuries, including fractured vertebrae and damage to the spinal cord;
- Head injuries, including concussion, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries.
ATVs accidents can occur while riding on the beach, in fields, and along wooded trails, but CPSC statistics indicate that the most common place for potentially fatal injuries is when riders are on paved and cement surfaces.
ATV Safety Tips
Under Florida ATV laws, riding on paved surfaces is strictly prohibited, and all riders who are under the age of 16 are required to wear helmets. Following these two practices alone can go a long way towards avoiding accidents and injuries. In addition to obeying state laws other safety tips recommended by the ATV Safety Institute to protect drivers and their passengers include:
- Even if you are over 16, wear a helmet.
- Dress appropriately when riding, which includes wearing pants, long sleeves, and tennis shoes or boots.
- Use safety goggles to protect your eyes from dirt and debris.
- Never carry more passenger than your ATV is designed for, and do not exceed weight restrictions.
- Remember that an ATV is not a toy. Young riders should be supervised at all times.
- Avoid the use of alcohol, drugs, or anything that could impair your judgement when riding.
In the event an accident does occur, notify local law enforcement so that a police report can be filed, seek medical care for your injuries, and contact the Law Firm of William E. Raikes, III in Florida. We can advise you on how to get compensation for the damages you have suffered. Request your free consultation today.