ATV accident attorneys know that ATV riding is a popular activity in Mercer County and across the state, especially between the months of May and September. The state of Pennsylvania has close to 800 miles of designated trails for ATV riding and many of those trails are in Pennsylvania state forests. Except for ATVs used solely for business or agricultural purposes, ATVs are required to be registered with the state and if they are operated on land that does not belong to the ATV owner, liability insurance is required.
It is reported that each year there are around 650 ATV related deaths and 100,000 injuries across the country. A large percentage of those injuries and deaths are sustained by children under the age of 16, which is why Pennsylvania passed a law prohibiting children under 16 from operating ATVs unless they are on their parents’ property or they have a valid safety certificate. According to the Consumer Federation of America, in 2017 there were 20 ATV fatalities in Pennsylvania which ranked 2nd highest in the country for ATV deaths.
Common ATV injuries
ATV accidents frequently result in passenger ejection and being pinned underneath the vehicle. Common injuries include the following:
- Deep cuts and lacerations
- Bones that are fractured, broken, or crushed
- Spinal cord injuries
- Other neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Drowning due to crashes in water
ATV accident causes and factors
ATVs can travel at high rates of speed and they can weigh over 1,000 pounds. ATVs have a high risk of rollover resulting in serious injuries and death. The majority of accidents are single vehicle accidents and about half of those single vehicle accidents result in rollovers. Common ATV accident causes and factors include speed, driver inexperience, lack of proper training, lack of supervision for child drivers, dangerous property conditions, alcohol and drugs, and defective ATV and safety equipment.
ATV accident liability
Liability for ATV accidents can be complicated and a number of different parties may be responsible for ATV accidents. See below for a list of people who may be responsible for ATV accidents and resulting injuries.
- The ATV driver who caused the accident that injured a passenger.
- The manufacturer or seller of a defective ATV.
- The person is responsible for the ATV’s maintenance.
- The property owner when dangerous conditions or poor maintenance of the property caused the accident.
- Lack of supervision or proper training and safety measures when a child is involved in an accident.
- Another ATV rider who caused a two-vehicle accident.