A 16-year-old girl killed in a recent ATV accident was never required to wear a helmet, eye protection or receive training.
The accident happened just a few days after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill into law requiring such prerequisites for ATV riders younger than 16, according to WYFF 4. The bill was created by the governor to reduce the risks of fatal ATV accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere throughout the state for our younger riders.
Our North Carolina personal injury attorneys recognize that this new bill will provide training to many young riders. However, we understand that this training would not apply to riders who ride under parental supervision on private property.
The 16-year-old ATV driver died from blunt force trauma to the head and chest. She reportedly lost control of her vehicle while riding in a field behind her house. The young girl was also reportedly not wearing a helmet.
Advocates point out that this bill would not have saved the young driver as she was on her own property with parental supervision. It also would not have applied to her because her age would have excluded her from the mandatory training. The law will apply to those younger than 16.
This new bill, effective July 1, is called Chandler's Law for Chandler Saylor, who died in May of 2003 after an ATV accident. His parents have been pushing for the new safety measures ever since.
The governor signed the law on the eight-year anniversary of Chandler's death. While many are pleased with the progress, advocates and parents hope for even more change in these safety regulations.
Children younger than 16 accounted for 97 deaths involving ATVs in North Carolina between 1982 and 2006. South Carolina reported 99 deaths on ATVs between 1982 and 2006.
One the opposite end of the spectrum, we recently reported on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog that adult ATV riders will no longer be required by law to wear either a helmet or eye protection while operating an ATV, as long as they're on private property. This law is to take effect Oct. 1 this year.
In 2009, there were almost 400 reported fatalities and 132,000 estimated emergency room visits resulting from ATV-related accidents across the country.