Florida Ranks in Top 10 for ATV Deaths
All-terrain vehicles or ATVs are popular for traveling off-road for sport or just pure enjoyment, yet these vehicles can be dangerous when not used safely. With many places to explore off-road, there are many ATV enthusiasts in Florida. The concern is that Florida ranks in the top 10 in the country for ATV deaths, many of which could be avoided by following some safety protocols.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Florida had 536 ATV deaths reported from 1983 to 2013. It is ranked sixth in the nation, with another 60 deaths in ongoing reporting from 2014-2016. The CPSC is concerned with the amount of ATV deaths that occur on paved areas, estimating that 32% or 170 deaths occurred on pavement from 2010-2013. In a public service announcement this spring, the CPSC urged all ATV riders to avoid riding on paved roads and to use safety precautions for riding on all types of terrain.
Safety Tips for ATV Riding
For those who enjoy riding ATVs, it is important to understand that these vehicles can be dangerous. However, using safety precautions can reduce the risk of injury and death. For those hitting the trails on ATVS in Florida, here are some safety tips to keep riders safe:
- Stay off paved roads. Even if your county or city allows ATVs on the road, it is best to avoid driving on paved surfaces and sharing the road with full-size vehicles. ATVs do not handle well on paved surfaces and riders are at a higher risk for injury if they are involved in a crash with full-size vehicles.
- Wear appropriate safety gear. Wearing a helmet, goggles, protective jacket/pants, boots and other gear can reduce the extent of injury in an accident.
- Limit riders per ATV. Most ATVs are designed to carry only one rider. Only carry as many riders as there are seats on the ATV.
- Get proper instruction. All new riders should go through a safety course with a qualified instructor to learn how to safely operate and ride an ATV.
No one wants a day out riding to turn into a trip to the ER. Avoiding paved roads and using appropriate safety precautions can help reduce the chance of ATV riders becoming another statistic.
While you should always do your best to protect yourself when riding an ATV, there are times when accidents occur that are not your fault. If you are injured when riding an ATV due to an accident caused by a defective vehicle or due to the fault of another driver, contact our team at Tison Law Group to discuss your legal options.