Articles Posted in ATV Accident

As more than 100 fires burn in the state of Florida, the Florida Forest Service and Hernando County Injury Lawyers Whittel & Melton want to remind everyone of good fire prevention techniques. Dirt bike and ATV riders, in particular, need to be on alert.

Riders should have a spark arrestor to minimize the risk of sparks flying from the muffler. Arrestors often come standard on ATV’s (all-terrain vehicles). The arrestor goes inside the muffler and it has chambers, so if a spark was to come through the motor and through the pipe, it wouldn’t make it out the pipe.

Any off-roading vehicle that enters an area run by the Florida Forest Service is required to have spark arrestors installed.

The Forest Service also encourages people to not park their cars on dry grass, because a car’s catalytic converter can get extremely hot and spark a fire.

All-terrain vehicles come in many shapes and sizes: three wheeler’s, four wheeler’s, six wheeler’s, work ATV’s, utility ATV’s, 4-wheel drive utility ATV’s, golf cars, sport ATV’s, side by sides, sand rail, dune buggy, and many other varieties. Regardless of what they are called, the dangers are very real.

Even when all safety precautions are followed, ATVs can present dangers. If you or a family member has been involved in an accident resulting in injury or wrongful death, our Hernando County ATV Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you understand if you have a legitimate claim for compensation.

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Summer is here, and we know you want to get outdoors with the kids. Whether it is swimming, riding a bike, taking a summer night stroll or even just opening a window to let that Florida breeze in, safety should always come first. The following simple steps will keep your loved ones safe now and in the future:

Pool Safety

The CPSC estimates that nearly 300 children under 5 years old drown each year in swimming pools and spas.

  • Teach your kids how to swim or sign them up for swimming lessons.
  • If you have a pool, install a four-sided fence around it.
  • Learn CPR.
  • Never leave children unattended around bodies of water. Drowning accidents can happen in a matter of seconds.
Playground Safety

Sadly, more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms each year with injuries from playground equipment.

  • Do not attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines or pet leashes to play equipment.
  • Make sure play equipment is maintained and is not broken before allowing children to play.
Window Falls

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As All-Terrain-Vehicles, otherwise known as ATVs, grow in popularity in Florida and across the nation, we will likely see more fatal and injury-causing recreational vehicle crashes. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Florida is in the top 10 states with the most ATV-related deaths. Between 1982 and 2007, 432 people in Florida have died in ATV-related crashes.

ATVs can actually weigh up to 600 lbs and travel as fast as 65 miles per hour, so it is imperative to safely operate these vehicles as well as wear protective gear whether you are a driver or passenger.

ATV Related Injuries and Fatalities

  • In 2012, there were more than 100,000 ATV-related injuries across the nation.
  • Of those injuries in 2012, nearly a quarter of these crashes involved children under the age of 16.
  • An estimated 27 percent of those injuries involved trauma to the head or neck.
  • Across the U.S., around 568 adults die in ATV crashes each year.
  • An estimated 144 children die in ATV-related crashes each year in the U.S.

6589309903_3408be3223_zSafe ATV operation is critical when it comes to using these vehicles. Riders should always consider wearing safety gear such as helmets, eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Another extremely vital component is being properly trained to drive an ATV. Riders are encouraged to complete training with a qualified instructor. Moreover, it is important to stay off of paved roads. Should you have to cross a paved road, use additional caution and go slow. Lastly, children under the age of 16 should never ride on an adult ATV. Children are extremely vulnerable when it comes to riding recreational vehicles that were designed for adults, so it is best to exercise due care and keep them away from such dangerous vehicles.

There are a high number of people injured and killed every year while riding on someone else’s ATV. If a friend offers to let you use their ATV, remember to be very careful. Do not underestimate the dangers of these 4-wheelers.

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Motor vehicle  accidents aren’t limited to just automobiles or trucks. Off-road or all-terrain vehicles are involved in hundreds of accidents and fatalities every year. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently released a report on ATV accidents that took place between 1982 and 2012 that shows that children account for a high amount of injuries and deaths from using these vehicles.

The CPSC has regulated ATV safety standards in the United States since 2009. The CPSC’s definition for an ATV is noted as “an off-road, motorized vehicle having three or four low-pressure tires, a straddle seat for the operator, and handlebars for steering control.” New ATVs must be four-wheel vehicles. Currently, CPSC regulations ban the sale of three-wheel ATVs. It is important to note that vehicles with steering wheels and bucket seats, like a golf cart, are not considered an ATV.

181080368_016e6024cb_zFor the 30-year period reviewed by the CPSC, a total of 12,391 deaths were reported due to ATV accidents. In 2012, the last year for which data was published, 353 fatalities were documented. The number of fatalities has fallen every year for the past six reported years, which is down from the high number of 832 deaths in 2006.

During the years 1982 to 2008, Florida reported 432 ATV-related deaths, the 6th highest total among all states. For the years 2009 to 2012, at least 74 additional deaths have been reported, making the current 30-year total 506 deaths. Sadly, children under the age of 16 account for 24 percent of all ATV-related deaths reported since 1982 and 43 percent of those children were actually under 12 years of age. The CPSC estimates that there are over 107,000 injuries each year due to ATV use. Of those, about one quarter involve children under the age of 16.

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A Hudson woman died on Sunday at a friend’s birthday celebration after she was ejected from the four-wheeler she was driving.

The 23-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies and emergency personnel were called to Whitehurst Pond, east of U.S. 19 near Hexam Road, northwest of Brooksville, just before 5 p.m. to investigate a serious four-wheeler crash.

four-wheelerThe deputies arrived at the location and found that several people were celebrating a birthday on private land that’s marked “no trespassing.”

According to deputies, around 4:30 p.m. the deceased and her cousin got on a four-wheeler and drove along the pond. The woman apparently decided to speed up and hit a bump that caused both women to be thrown from the vehicle.

Another four-wheeler pulled up a short while later, to take the cousin to call for help, but it was too late for the woman.

Investigators believe the group arrived around 11 a.m. to ride four-wheelers in the sand and mud. During the day, most of people present drank a few beers.

The sheriff’s office said the Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting an autopsy, but preliminary reports do not show signs of foul play.

People riding on four-wheelers or ATVs have little to protect them in the event of an accident. These crashes can occur in an instant and result in victims being thrown from the vehicle, crushed beneath the vehicle as it rolls over or endure any number mishaps that deliver life-threatening injuries.

When you are injured on someone else’s property using their four-wheeler or ATV, premises liability laws may apply. This means that the property owner could be held liable for the damages suffered by you or your loved one in the four-wheeler accident. A Hernando County Four-Wheeler & ATV Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton can investigate the accident site and help you understand how the property owner’s negligence could have contributed to the accident.

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