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.
For 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.
ATVs are dangerous vehicles, and it is important that parents closely monitor children using ATVs. Misusing an ATV can prove fatal, as the above statistics show. If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident in Spring Hill, Brooksville, Ridge Manor, Weeki Wachee, Hernando Beach or Masaryktown, then you could be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A Hernando County ATV Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton can help you understand your rights to legal recourse. Contact us today online or call 352-666-2121 for a free consultation.