According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 400 ATV-related fatalities in Florida between 1982 and 2007. During that time, the state ranked in the top ten when it came to traffic fatalities caused by these vehicles. Worse, the trend seems to be getting worse. Between 2008 and 2011, about 78 Florida residents died in ATV accidents – an increase in the yearly fatality average.
According to safety experts, there are several reasons why ATV accident deaths may be on the rise in Florida:
•ATVs are not considered motor vehicles and so are not subject to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations and other laws that motorists need to follow.
•ATVs are driven off-road, where conditions can be more dangerous in terms of accidents and where law enforcement does not check as often for safety violations.
•The population in the state of Florida has increased in recent years, and this has also meant more traffic and more people interested in ATVs overall.
•ATVs do not use seatbelts and other safety devices.
•Riders of ATVs are not subject to same screening, training, and licensing as drivers of other vehicles. This means that riders vary widely when it comes to skill and experience, and according to safety experts many riders ride past their safety level or experience level.
Although the risks of a car accident in Homestead or Florida are still more common, the rise of ATV accidents is a concern. Just as with motorcycle accidents in Homestead, more needs to be done to prevent ATV crashes. According to experts, there are several things that ATV enthusiasts can to ride more safely:
1) Develop skill and experience slowly. Ride on less rough and less challenging terrain initially, until you develop the skills and experience to take on more difficult challenges.
2) Always ride sober. Drunk driving accidents in Homestead</a7 kill – but so do inebriated ATV riders. Anything that affects your judgment and response times could lead to a fatal crash when ATVs are involved.
3) Never allow yourself to be distracted. When on an ATV, focus entirely on the road. You will have even more hazards and challenges than someone driving on a smooth road, so ATVs do require more concentration. Just as distracted driving in Homestead leads to accidents, distracted ATV riders can find themselves involved in a serious collision.
4) Always wear safety gear. A helmet is vital since ATVs do not have seatbelts and you are likely to be thrown from the vehicle in a crash. A good helmet can prevent you from becoming a brain injury patient at the local Homestead hospital and can even save your life. In addition to a good helmet, boots and a chest protector can also be useful in preventing injuries in the event of a crash.
5) Do not allow children under the age of 16 unsupervised on ATVs. According to statistics, one quarter of all ATV fatalities in Florida between 1982 and 2007 involved children under the age of 16. Florida Statute Title 23 Chapter 316 requires children under the age of 16 to wear a helmet on ATVs but most experts recommend going further and only allowing children on the vehicles if they are supervised at all times.
Have you been injured in an ATV accident? You may want to know whether you have a personal injury case. If so, you can contact Flaxman Law Group at any time to arrange a free consultation with a personal injury attorney to review your case.