ATV Accidents and Children By Lynn Harris on February 14, 2020

Child in hospital with broken armBased on looks alone, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) seems inherently safer than a motorcycle. You’re on four wide wheels rather than two thin wheels, which makes it seem like an ATV is more stable. Yet on city streets or rugged terrain, ATVs can be extremely dangerous. It’s possible to be crushed or seriously harmed by an ATV in an accident. Those dangers are even more pronounced for children. When crashes happen, you should speak with an ATV rollover lawyer.

Lynn C. Harris has helped countless auto accident victims in the Salt Lake City and Provo, UT area. He’d like to focus on the dangers that ATVs pose to children, and offer a few common sense tips for safety.

How Dangerous Are ATVs to Children?

In 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) commented on the dangers that ATVs pose to riders under the age of 18. In 2015 alone, the AAP found that ATV accidents led to the deaths of 73 riders under the age of 16. In addition, around 26,700 riders under 16 were injured in ATV accidents. These numbers are a legitimate cause for concern.

The AAP even quoted Dr. Charles Jennissen, a pediatrician and safety expert, with an alarming fact about these facts: “More kids die on ATVs than die from bicycle crashes.”

Rollover Dangers for ATVs

The biggest cause of injuries on ATVs comes from vehicle rollovers. A full-sized adult ATV can weight up to 1,200 pounds, which is a tremendous amount of weight. If an adult is in a rollover accident, the injuries can be severe. For children, the results of an ATV accident can be especially dire, even on smaller ATVs.

Since ATVs are often taken on rugged terrain, including sloping creeks and hills, the risk of the ATV tipping over or rolling over is much higher.

Potential Injuries from ATV Accidents

The injuries sustained from an ATV accident can be catastrophic, particularly given the size of these vehicles. Broken limbs, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), facial trauma, and even spinal cord injuries may occur. This harm is made worse if a child is not wearing proper protective gear, such as a helmet.

Recommendations from the AAP for ATVs

In order to ensure the safety of your child when they are on an ATV, consider the following advice from the AAP:

  • Children younger than 16 should not be allowed to ride or operate an ATV
  • Children should never operate full-sized adult ATVs; instead, they should be on youth ATVs of appropriate size and speed for their age
  • Parents should be present to supervise their children, especially young children or first-time ATV users
  • All ATV riders should wear a motorcycle helmet
  • ATVs should be operated solo, without any passengers on the vehicle
  • ATVs should not be used on public roads, where vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian collisions may occur

Learn More About Your Legal Options

If you would like to learn more about your legal options following an ATV accident, be sure to contact a skilled injury accident lawyer. Lynn C. Harris can be reached in Salt Lake City by calling (801) 521-3200 and in Provo by calling (801) 609-5776.

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