Do you enjoy the thrill of tackling off-road terrain? All-terrain vehicles,
or “ATVs” as they are more popularly known, are a popular
recreational vehicle due to their relatively low cost, high speeds, and
ease of use. Some who own large plots of property even use ATVs as small
work tools due to the ease with which they navigate small spaces and terrain
a truck couldn’t otherwise handle. While ATVs may be a lot of fun,
they also present a large amount of inherent risk which many people may
What happens if you get hurt while riding an ATV? Do you have any recourse,
particularly if the accident was caused by another driver? It turns out
that yes, you very well might. Just like a car, truck, or pedestrian accident,
those injured in ATV accidents may be able to recover medical expenses,
treatment costs, and other damages sustained in a crash for which someone
else is liable.
Unlike a dirtbike or off-road motorcycle, crashes on an ATV are almost
always serious because the vehicles don’t simply tip and come to
rest where they are: they almost always happen at speed and result in
the vehicle rolling over. This results in collisions with other riders,
rolling over the driver, and many other hazards. Despite their inherently
more stable tendencies, these vehicles can also be difficult to handle
because of their weight and the inherently low-traction nature of off-road
driving. Those who try to take a corner too fast might find the vehicle
won’t turn as easily as they’d like, and they could wind up
off the trail quickly.
Rules of the (Off) Road
Many people love the thrill of off-roading due to the freedom from rules
and restrictions as well as the added challenge of scaling otherwise impassible
terrain. However, whether you’re out blazing a new trail or tackling
one that’s already well-traveled, there are some safety procedures
you should know and follow to the best of your ability. Since off-road
vehicles require a lot more skill and focus to drive safely, you should
do everything in your power to ensure your safety and the safety of those
you encounter while riding.
- If you encounter traffic going the opposite direction on the same trail,
leave them plenty of room, slow down, pass them on the right (as though
you were driving in a regular car), and signal how many remaining members
there are in your party. If there are none remaining, hold up a closed
fist to indicate “zero”.
- Never zoom around a blind corner at high speeds, and always stick to the
right side unless you can clearly see the extent of the trail around the
corner and know that it’s clear.
- Always wear safety gear, including long pants and long sleeves, close-toed
shoes, gloves, and a certified off-road helmet with impact-resistant goggles.
- If you are on a trail that’s too narrow for vehicles to pass each
other without stopping, pull over to the side as much as possible and
allow the other riders to pass through first, especially if the trail
on their side is bordered by a hazard like a downhill slope.
Those who fail to follow these guidelines could be held responsible in
the event of an accident and serious injury. Because liability in an off-road
environment may be more difficult to prove, it’s strongly advised
you speak with an experienced Martin County personal injury attorney about
your case and get the help you need with recovering compensation for your losses.
Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC today by dialing 866-675-4427 for a free case evaluation!