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Updated by Randall Spivey on Jun 10, 2020
Headline for Five Factors Contributing to ATV Accidents
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Five Factors Contributing to ATV Accidents

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) accidents are extremely common — and dangerous.

According to a comprehensive accident report conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 264 ATV-related deaths and 81,800 ATV-related injury visits to the emergency room in 2018 alone. Young drivers were especially prone to injury, with roughly 26 percent of such injuries involving children below the age of 16. ATV use by these young drivers also plays a role in exposing others to a risk of injury, particularly in closed-circuit recreational areas where there is a high volume of ATV traffic.

If you’ve been injured in an ATV-related accident, in Florida or elsewhere, then you may have a legal right of action to sue and recover damages. To better understand how your attorney will approach the injury claim, consider the following common factors that can contribute to an ATV accident. Depending on the circumstances, these can give rise to successful personal injury claims.

Let’s take a look.


Driver Error

Driver error — whether he or she is simply negligent in the operation of the ATV or under the influence of drugs or alcohol — is a common factor contributing to ATV accidents. For example, an ATV driver may forget to check their sides (or their mirrors) and may suddenly turn, causing a collision.

If you have been injured by an ATV driver who is responsible due to their negligence, then you may have a right to bring a claim against them for damages. If they were intoxicated at the time of the accident, it will not only be easier to establish fault, but you may even have the opportunity to secure bonus punitive damages.


Driver Inexperience

Driver inexperience is quite common, unfortunately, especially as ATVs are often provided to new and unfamiliar drivers for onsite recreation (i.e., ATV rentals at a popular vacation spot in the desert or by the beach). Many drivers do not actually own an ATV and therefore do not have extensive practice and training prior to use.

If the company renting out ATVs does not provide adequate instruction — or experienced supervision during use — then they could potentially be held responsible for the injuries caused by an inexperienced and insufficiently-trained driver.


Paved Roads

Many people don’t realize that ATVs perform differently on paved surfaces. Drivers who find themselves on paved roads may be surprised to find that the vehicle responds differently and could make mistakes that ultimately lead to a collision.

If you are using an ATV on a commercial “course” with paved areas and you injure yourself, then the course owner could potentially be held liable.


Riding With a Passenger or Excess Weight

Most ATVs are not built to support multiple riders and they also have weight limits. If an ATV is used with multiple riders or to carry heavy cargo, then this could unbalance the vehicle and create maneuvering issues that lead to an accident.

Drivers who ride with passengers or carry excess weight (in violation of the vehicle’s limitations) could be held liable for damages if their negligence leads to an accident.


ATV Mechanical Defects

ATVs are notoriously difficult to maintain, and many have manufacturing defects and other problems that are undetected (due to infrequent use of the ATV) until an accident actually occurs. If you have been injured due to an ATV mechanical defect — for example, defective brakes system — then you could potentially bring a product liability suit against the manufacturer.