The Rise and Rise of ATV Related Deaths and Injuries

The growing use of all terrain vehicles (ATV’s) continues to unnecessarily injure and kill innocent victims. ATV’s are marketed in today’s society as if they were as safe as a car or truck. Commercials showing families jumping in a 3, 4, or even 6 seat ATV with open air sides enjoying a ride though beautiful landscape gives consumers a feeling of safety that is not supported by the facts. The reality is that ATV’s are not as safe as a car or truck and caution should be urged.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) report, the CPSC had reports of more than 13,000 ATV related deaths between 1982 and 2013, with 426 of those fatalities occurring in 2013 alone. More troubling is that 3,023 of these fatalities are children under the age of 16 years old. The CSPC also reports that 2013 saw more than 99,000 injuries in emergency rooms from ATV accidents nationwide. Missouri alone saw 77 ATV deaths between 2010-2013. The CPSC expects these numbers to continue increasing as the use of ATV’s grows.

The CSPC classifies an ATV as follows:

  • Off road motorized vehicle;
  • Having three or four low-pressure tires;
  • A straddle seat for the operator; and
  • handlebars for steering control.

The CSPC does not take into account the large number of ATV’s with more than 4 wheels and steering wheels. If this additional group of ATV’s were taken into account, the numbers would be even more devastating.

Common Causes of ATV Accidents

The nature of ATV’s is that they are driven off of paved roadways. This uneven terrain provides increased dangers to an already dangerous activity. Some of the commonly reported causes of accidents with ATV’s are:

  • Inexperienced drivers.
  • Attempting to navigate terrain which is too dangerous.
  • Failure to abide by state laws and regulations.
  • Driving ATV’s on paved roadways. (ATV’s are designed for use on rugged terrain and handle poorly on paved roadways.)
  • A lack of adult supervision.
  • Over correction.
  • Riding with too many passengers.

An important safety tip is to remember that an inexperienced ATV driver is 13x more likely to have an accident than an experienced driver. Owners of ATV’s should always remember that it is their responsibility to ensure anyone driving their ATV has the proper training to safely operate the vehicle.

Missouri ATV Fatalities

  • The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that on March 16, 2015, 16 year old Mason Atagi was killed in Lowry City after he lost control of his ATV, hit a tree and was thrown from the vehicle.
  • 53 year old Donna Dammrich of Berryman, MO passed away Saturday after her 2013 Honda Rancher ATV left the roadway and struck a tree.

These tragic fatalities are reminders of the misplaced safety placed in ATV’s.

Recovering for ATV Injuries and Deaths

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an ATV accident in Missouri, you may be entitled to reimbursement for your loss. If the injury or death resulted from the negligent driving of another operator, or from the ATV owner’s failure to properly train other drivers, the victims can seek reimbursement for their harms and losses.

As a Missouri ATV accident lawyer, we help fight for the rights of injury victims. Liability insurance companies for the at fault party will immediately go to work blaming the victim for the injury or death. It is important that you have someone fighting for you. Our Top 100 Trial Lawyers are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to provide FREE CONSULTATIONS to ATV accident victims and the families of those wrongfully killed. Call us today at 314-409-7060.

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