Safe ATV Practices Around Automobiles
All-terrain vehicles or ATVs are extremely popular in Florida and a great way to explore the beautiful areas of our state. While there are always risks when riding a motorized vehicle, ATVs can be enjoyed by teens and adults with a lower chance of injury when protective gear and safe riding techniques are used. The biggest concern when riding an ATV is encountering a larger vehicle – especially for young riders. Knowing the safest practices for riding an ATV around automobiles and other larger vehicles can help you avoid accidents and injuries.
Florida in Top Five for ATV Fatalities
ATV riding is popular all over the country, but some states have a much higher death toll when it comes to ATV accidents. Florida is ranked number five in the country for fatalities from 1982 to 2013, with an average of 536 deaths from ATV accidents. Accidents can happen, but what is concerning is that 50% of ATV fatalities occurred when riders were on paved or unpaved roads where larger vehicles drive. While roads and automobiles may not be able to be avoided completely, it is important to know the safety practices to use when sharing the same areas.
This starts by understanding the laws regarding riding ATVs on roads in Florida. According to Florida Statute 316.2123, ATVs are not allowed to be ridden on public roads or streets, with the exception of unpaved roads with speed limits of less than 35 MPH, and only during daylight hours. Riders should have a valid driver’s license, or if they are minors, be riding under the supervision of a licensed adult driver.
When possible, avoid driving ATVs on roads that are routinely used by larger vehicles. This increases the risk of accidents and injuries dramatically. Use extreme caution when crossing roads and watch for traffic. If you do need to ride on an approved road, follow the rules of the road, ride on the correct side of the street, and travel at a low speed. Make sure to turn on headlights to increase visibility and always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
Even when you are a safe ATV rider and follow the rules and laws, accidents can occur. Distracted drivers may not see you or your vehicle, which may cause a serious ATV accident. If you are seriously injured in an ATV accident or lose a loved one due to the carelessness of another driver, contact our team at Tison Law Group to discuss your legal options.