Riding on Public Roadways Presents a High Risk for North Carolina ATV Accidents

An ATV rider remains in critical condition after flipping a borrowed four-wheeler, reports the Herald Online.

Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers of Charlotte and elsewhere know that ATVs often roll over in crashes, causing serious or fatal injuries.

A 23-year-old Iron Station man was airlifted to a Charlotte hospital after losing control of a friends ATV. Witnesses report the victim was traveling at a high rate of speed on Highway 321 when the crash occurred. When the ATV flipped over, it threw the rider more than 100 feet. The owner of the ATV attempted to stop the rider from going onto the roadway, knowing the dangers of riding an ATV on public highways. Authorities believe the knobby tires meant for off-road use were a contributing factor in the crash.

Nationwide, there were 376 deaths and more than 131,000 injuries from ATV crashes in 2009. The 2009 Annual Report of ATV-related Deaths and Injuries report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicates that 10,281 people died in ATV-related accidents from 1982 to 2009. In this report, North Carolina had 366 ATV-related deaths from 1982 to 2009, which ranked ninth among all states. Though final numbers for years 2007 through 2009 are still being calculated, North Carolina had an estimated 64 deaths during those years and South Carolina reported 29 deaths. Nationally, more than 25 percent of those dying in ATV accidents are children under 16; 11 percent are younger than 12.

We posted previously on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog that adult riders on private property will no longer have to wear helmet or eye protection, according to a new North Carolina law that goes into effect Oct. 1.

ATV safety tips:

-Before riding an ATV, take a rider training/safety course. ATV manufacturers sometimes offer free hands-on training to new owners.

-Make sure your vehicle is in good working order.

-Don’t ride alone. Also let someone know where you are riding and when you will be back.

-Always carry a first-aid kit and a charged cell phone on your ATV.

-Never ride an ATV under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

-Don’t ride on paved surfaces – ATVs are meant for off-road use.

-Read and follow all directions and safety material that come with your ATV.

-Wear the right safety gear and appropriate clothing and shoes while riding.

-Travel at the right speed for the terrain you are on.

-Never startle wildlife – they could run into you or in the path of other riders.

-Stay alert for hazards like downed branches or fences, and stay on trails as much as possible.

-Never ride on private property without the owner’s consent.

-Be considerate by keeping your ATV quiet to avoid upsetting wildlife and landowners.

The Carolina personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at the Lee Law Offices P.A. represent clients injured in accidents throughout North Carolina, including Winston-Salem, North Wilkesboro, Salisbury and Asheboro. Call today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

ATV accident in Carolina killed 16-year-old before new bill takes effect North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 30, 2011

ATV Riding Can Lead to Serious Injuries in North Carolina Accidents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, April 24, 2011

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