All-terrain vehicles were originally designed to make it easier for farmers and farmhands to perform duties, such as hauling supplies out to a work area or traveling along a fence line to inspect it. Today, these vehicles are also popular for recreation in coastal and rural terrain as well as off-road and in mountainous areas.
Unfortunately, with this popular past-time also comes the risk of injury and even death. Since children often don’t yet have the fine motor skills or cognitive abilities to operate this type of motorized equipment, they are at a greater risk for injuries. In fact, studies have shown that teenage and adolescent ATV riders have more head injuries and experience more severe injuries than any other type of age group. These head injuries and other types of severe injuries may include permanent concussions, neurologic injuries, spine injuries and even fracture or dislocations.
Although many who ride ATVs carry passengers with them, all-terrain vehicles are not usually designed for carrying passengers in the back. Riding on the back of an ATV can actually put both the driver and the passenger at a greater risk for accident. Since these vehicles lack the general stability of other types of vehicles, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that they also should not be ridden on a regular paved road.
Teen injuries that occur from riding as a passenger on an ATV can be financially catastrophic to a family. If a teen has been involved in an ATV accident due to an operator’s negligence, they could be entitled to compensation for their injuries. As their parent, you may find it beneficial to learn more about you and your child’s valuable legal rights.
Source: FindLaw, “ATV Injuries and Accidents,” accessed June 23, 2015