ATVs or all-terrain vehicles are not meant for use on paved roads or city roads. However, far too many people now use these vehicles on paved roads, and according to a new report, many ATV accident-related fatalities are now occurring on paved roads. That information is contained in a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Researchers at the Institute found a substantial increase in the number of fatalities involving drivers as well as passengers on all-terrain vehicles in recent years as all-terrain vehicles have grown in popularity, and as people, especially young riders, have begun taking their vehicles onto roadways.
According to the findings of the report, between 2007 and 2011, there were 1,701 ATV rider fatalities on public roads across the country. That works out to an average of 304 ATV fatalities every year. In fact, according to the report, in 2013, two- thirds of all fatal ATV accidents occurred on public or paved roads.
All-terrain vehicles are meant for use on rough terrain, and are not meant to be used on city or paved roads. The tires of these vehicles are low-pressure tires which are not suitable for use on paved roads. When used on a paved road, there is a higher risk of an accident because there’s generally a higher chance of risky behavior when people use these vehicles on city roads. People tend to be more confident when they are driving on a public paved road, not realizing that these vehicles are not made or designed for such terrain.
Another factor that often contributes to fatalities involving all-terrain vehicles when they are used on paved roads is the failure to wear helmets while riding. Only 30% of the fatalities in ATV accidents on paved roads were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Approximately 43% were also legally intoxicated at the time of the accident, and many of the drivers were speeding. In fact, high-speed was cited as a contributing factor in 42% of all fatal single-ATV accidents.
In Indiana, there were 12 fatalities in ATV-related accidents between 2007 and 2011. That works out to a rate of four fatalities per 10 million people.
Use ATVs safely and responsibly to avoid being severely injured in an accident. These vehicles may be called “all-terrain vehicles,” but are not meant to be used on public roads. Wear a helmet while riding an ATV to avoid speeding, and avoid riding an ATV under the influence of alcohol. If you are under the age of 16, you should not be riding an adult-sized ATV at all.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy LLP represent persons injured in ATV accidents across Indiana.