Starting October 1, 2011, adult ATV riders will no longer be required to wear a helmet and eye protection on private property in North Carolina reports the Charlotte Observer. Governor Bev Perdue failed to sign the proposed bill loosening requirements by the Thursday deadline but the proposed law takes effect anyway.
Charlotte personal injury attorneys know the risks involved in riding ATVs and urge you to use a little caution when you head out for a ride on an all-terrain vehicle.
We posted recently on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog about the recent death of a young woman who suffered from neck and head injuries following an ATV accident in North Carolina. She had been riding with friends before encountering a downed cable running across the road that threw her off the recreational vehicle.
ATV’s, for the most part, are used as recreational vehicles for riding trails. Bumps and ruts on the path or in a field can be treacherous. ATVSafety.gov reported 366 deaths on ATV’s in North Carolina from 1982-2009. Though the data for 2007-2009 is still incomplete, to date there have been 64 deaths reported in North Carolina during that time period.
Children under 16 accounted for 97 deaths in North Carolina during the period of 1982-2006 while riding on an ATV. South Carolina reported 99 deaths on ATV’s during the period of 1982-2006. There were 35 deaths for children under age 16 in ATV accidents in South Carolina during that same period. During 2007-2009, there were 29 reported deaths on ATV’s in South Carolina to date but the data is still incomplete. Nationally in 2009, there were 376 reported deaths and almost 132,000 estimated emergency room visits as a result of ATV-related accidents across the country.
Governor Perdue’s decision to not sign the bill was about personal freedom and wanting to keep legislation consistent in comparison to child safety seats and motorcycle helmet requirements. Under the new law, eyewear and helmets will still be required on public streets and areas shared with other vehicles. Children who operate their own ATV will be required to wear goggles and a helmet at all times.
If you own or plan to rent an ATV this summer, take a hands-on safety training course. Brushing up on your skills could protect you and others that you ride with from danger and serious injury in an ATV accident.
Contact the experienced team of injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices, P.A. if you have been injured in an ATV or other recreational vehicle accident in North or South Carolina. Call 1-800-887-1965 to make an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your rights.