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Why Riding ATVs Is a Dangerous Activity for Teens

Posted on in Personal Injury

Why Riding ATVs Is a Dangerous Activity for TeensEach year in the U.S., hundreds of people die and thousands more are injured in accidents involving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Riding an ATV can be dangerous for people of any age or skill level, but children and teens seem to be particularly at risk of being injured or killed. Riders younger than 16 make up a quarter of those who are injured in ATV accidents and a third of those who are killed. Before you allow your child to operate an ATV, you should understand why it is a risky activity and how you can best protect them.

Lack of Regulation

Unlike with most other motorized vehicles, Illinois does not have any restrictions on how old you must be to operate an ATV or requirements for safely using an ATV, such as helmets or passenger limits. Instead, it is up to the riders to learn how to safely operate the vehicle. Even in states that have stricter rules, it can be difficult to enforce those rules because people usually ride ATVs on private properties and not public roads.

Dangerous Vehicles

The design of most ATVs makes them prone to rollovers and leaves the rider exposed to injury. ATVs have a high center of gravity, and many lack safety features such as rollover bars, seatbelts, and safety cages. Having an additional passenger on an ATV meant for one person can throw off the balance during turns. If you add the uneven terrain and people riding at unsafe speeds, you have a recipe for disaster. A rider or passenger can be thrown from the vehicle or pinned underneath it after a rollover.

Safety Measures

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend allowing children 16 or younger to ride an ATV because of the number of injuries that occur. If you let your teen ride an ATV, you can best protect them from injury by taking several precautions:

  • Have them take an ATV safety training course.
  • Accompany them to make sure they are following the best safety practices.
  • Have them dress appropriately, such as wearing a helmet with eye protection and clothing that covers up their arms and legs.
  • Limit their riding to daylight hours.
  • If they plan to go riding with friends, emphasize the importance of behaving responsibly and not using drugs or alcohol.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Lawyer

If your child is injured in an ATV accident, it is possible that another party is liable for the accident:

  • Someone else may have been reckless in operating their ATV.
  • The property owner’s willful negligence may have created a hazard.
  • The ATV manufacturer may be liable for a defective part.

Talk with a Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, to determine whether you may be able to receive compensation for your child’s injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.




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