If you live in a big city, the opportunity to ride an all-terrain vehicle is probably few and far between. Yet, just a few minutes out of town, they remain a popular recreational activity. In other cases, they are used on the beach and even as part of some jobs. Tourists and residents of Florida may find themselves at risk of an ATV accident in Port St. Lucie if they lack the knowledge and experience needed to operate this four-wheeled machine. Or if rented or borrowed machines are not properly maintained.
TC Palm recently reported about the fatal ATV accident involving two riders from Port St. Lucie. According to St. Lucie County Fire District, the ATV ran into a truck that was parked on Christensen Road near Midway Road around 11:00 p.m. The driver of the ATV attempted to turn into a drive, hit a privately owned firetruck which caused the ATV to flip over. The passenger on the ATV was ejected from the vehicle and killed. The ATV driver is at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in critical condition.
Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers know that Florida is full of scenic off-road riding trails and challenging mud bogs. But with the growing popularity of ATV’s in our state, riders need to be careful to avoid rollover accidents, collisions, or bumpy terrains that cause them to be thrown off the vehicle.
ATVSafety.gov reported 376 ATV-related fatalities in 2009, and another 131,900 injuries that were treated in hospital emergency rooms nationwide. For children under the age of 16, 16 percent of all ATV-related deaths were in this age group in 2009 with 61 reported fatalities. Florida reported 361 fatalities from 1982-2006 involving an ATV and though the data remains incomplete, it is estimated that another 86 ATV-related deaths occurred from 2007-2009 in our state. From 1982-2006, 29 percent of ATV-related deaths in Florida were children 15 and under.
Florida prohibits use of ATVs on paved roads and requires that vehicles must be titled if operated on public land.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these common sense safety tips to ATV riders:
-Enroll in a training course. Riders can learn how to control ATVs in various situations with proper training in a hands-on course.
-Adult ATVs are meant for adults and should never be used by children under the age of 16.
-Riders should never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
-Most ATVs are built for one person so carrying a passenger on a single-rider is never advised. Riding tandem with a passenger can occur on ATVs designed for two riders but passengers should be at least 12 years old.
-Protective equipment like gloves, helmets, boots and goggles can reduce the severity of injury sustained in a crash.
For a full list of riding trails in your area, visit atvflorida.com. But first, check out ATV Rider Course Enrollment before you ride.
The ATV accident attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC can help you determine who is at fault and seek the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured in an ATV accident in Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Miami or Palm Beach, call 1-800-561-7777 to make an appointment for a free consultation today.
ATV crash in White City kills young woman, hurts man critically, by Elliott Jones, TC Palm.
Watercraft Vehicles Cause a High Risk of Jet Ski and Boating Injuries in Fort Lauderdale, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, June 3, 2011