ATVs are ubiquitous on back roads in South Florida. They can be a fun way to experience the trails and off roads in and around Hollywood and the rest of the region. However, these vehicles can also pose a danger precisely because they are used on rough terrain. Rollovers and other types of accidents are not uncommon with these vehicles and each year people are seriously injured or even killed in ATV accidents.
Unfortunately, since children are allowed to ride ATVs, some of the worst tragedies involving these vehicles include minors. A small child thrown from an ATV or pinned under a vehicle is likely to suffer permanent or even fatal injuries.
If you want to ride ATVs, you can reduce your risk of injury and accident by:
1) Taking the ride seriously.
Take ATVs as seriously as you treat driving a car. Always drive sober and without distractions. Focus on safety and of the rules of the road. Never try to put more than one person on an ATV and never drive when you’re tired.
2) Always wearing the right gear.
Helmets, boots, gloves, and goggles protect you if you’re ever thrown from the ATV. They can also help you avoid an accident in the first place. Goggles, for example, prevent debris from flying into your eyes and causing you to lose control of the vehicle. Gloves can help you keep a firm grip on the handles so you keep a better control of your ATV.
Helmets are one of the best ways to prevent head injuries on Hollywood and South Florida roads when you are on your ATV and they can also protect you from flying debris, helping you maintain visibility. If you’re traveling in poor visibility conditions, make sure your ATV is highly visible. Use lights and reflectors.
3) Riding in a group.
Not only is it more fun, but if you are in a crash, others can help you. Others can also help you notice any potentially dangerous terrain that you might overlook, helping you prevent crashes or rollovers.
4) Riding as permitted.
Never take ATVs on public streets or attempt to share public streets with other drivers. If you are permitting a child under the age of 16 to ride, that minor must have completed a safety class and must have the appropriate gear.
5) Doing more than the minimum for safety.
Although Florida does not require it, it’s still an excellent idea to:
- Supervise children on ATVs at all times
- Always ride within your ability
- Never attempt to ride an oversize ATV too large for you
- Take a safety course, even if you’re an adult and not required to do so
- Develop your skills gradually and only try more challenging terrain once you can handle an ATV well
5) Choosing a safe ride.
Invest in good-quality ATV with safety features. Always check reviews before making your purchase. Before each ride, inspect the vehicle thoroughly to make sure your tires, sprockets, controls, and other parts of the vehicle are in good shape.
If you have been injured by an unsafe ATV rider or by mechanical failure of your vehicle, contact Flaxman Law Group for legal advice about your situation. You may have a legal claim allowing you to seek compensation for damages – including medical bills, property damage, and more.