However, if you don't know how to operate an ATV properly or you are unaware of the safety tips and guidelines, a fun outing with the family can quickly turn disastrous. Today, we will go over some of the dangers of ATVs and how to avoid an accident as much as possible.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under the age of 16 refrains from riding ATVs. Until they reach this age, they may not have the strength, coordination, and judgment that is needed to safely operate an all-terrain vehicle in different situations and under different conditions.
However, even though it is risky, lots of kids are still able to ride them. Each state has their own guidelines in place regarding the age requirements. According to Florida ATV law, "no person under 16 years of age may operate, ride, or be otherwise propelled on an all-terrain vehicle unless the person wears a safety helmet and eye protection."
Dangers and Risks
ATVs can tip over very easily, and when this is combined with the weight of the people riding the ATV and higher speeds in excess of 50 mph, a fun drive can quickly turn into a day of disaster. An ATV doesn't have any built-in safety features, typically such as a safety cage or seatbelts.
Injuries sustained as the result of an ATV accident can vary in degree and severity. Some of the more common injuries associated with an ATV accident include cuts and scrapes, broken collarbone, broken limbs, trauma to the abdominal area, and head and neck injuries.
ATV Safety for the Family
We can never completely guarantee the safety of our children on an ATV unless we don't allow them to ride one at all. However, there are still some safety tips we can follow so they can still have fun without all the unnecessary risk.
First, everyone should wear the correct clothing as well as protective equipment while riding or operating an ATV in Florida. You should never wear shorts or tank tops. Instead, wear clothing that offers some protection against cuts and scrapes like long pants, long sleeves, gloves, and boots that go over the ankle.
Training courses are also available to teach children how to operate an ATV safely. They will be taught the skills needed to ride an ATV under different circumstances and teaches them safety tips along the way.
The Right ATV
ATVs for children do exist. They are sized smaller and typically come with a mechanism that limits the speed of the ATV. When allowing your children to operate an ATV, make sure it is sized accordingly for their age and their stature.
When operating an ATV, it is always best to have one person on each. When there is a passenger, it increases the risk of injuries and accidents because a passenger can easily interfere with the driver's overall ability to maintain control of the ATV. Even if the ATV is designed for use with a passenger, it should still be avoided when possible to ensure an increased level of safety for everyone.
Ride During Daylight Hours
For additional safety, it is recommended to only ride ATVs during daylight hours when visibility is better. At night, it may be harder to spot obstacles that could potentially cause an accident.
As you can see, with the right safety tips and training, ATVs can prove to be fun for the whole family. Additionally, if you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident involving a negligent party, don't hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help with your case.