Articles Posted in ATV Accidents

A 7-year-old rider was killed in a recent dirt bike accident in Chester County.

According to WSOCTV, the youth was riding down Chester Highway in Great Falls on a new dirt bike he got for Christmas when he slammed into a tractor-trailer. The South Carolina Highway Patrol reports that witnesses throughout the area report heavy dirt bike traffic and warn travelers in the area to be safe.
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Some people associate off-roading — whether on ATVs, snowmobiles or dirt bikes — with spending time outdoors. For others, it’s almost a competitive sport. Our ATV injury lawyers know dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles are poopular among our younger population. Unfortunately, these younger drivers lack the experience, training and education and are oftent in serious danger out there because of it. If Santa brought your child a new dirt bike or ATV this Christmas, make sure you also gift them with some serious safety training and plenty of supervision to help to protect them out there.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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WRAL recently reported on the death of a young ATV rider.

Our Greensboro accident attorneys understand the risks of riding ATVs. We know that 64 people were killed between 2007 through 2009 while riding these recreational vehicles.
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While riding an ATV, a young woman ran into a cable that hung across a road and knocked her off the vehicle. She had been part of a group riding on Sims Bridge Road. She was rushed to Franklin Regional Medical Center for treatment of her neck and head injuries. She was transferred later to Duke University Hospital, where she died.

According to ATV Safety the following laws are true for North Carolina:

-You must be 8 years old or over to operate an ATV.

-Children under age 12 are limited to operating an ATV under 70cc and children under age 16 are limited to operating an ATV 90cc or less.

-Anyone 16 or under must be watched by an adult.

-Passengers can only ride on ATVs that are designed to do so.

-Helmet and eye protection must be worn at all times.

-ATVs are not allowed on public streets, except to cross.

-ATVs shall operate with lighted head and tail lights from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise.

-Any ATV operator born on or after January 1, 1990, must take an ATV safety course and get a certificate.

-ATVs used for farming, hunting or trapping are exempt from the law’s provisions.

Inspecting your ATV prior to use is essential to ensure a safe riding experience. A 5 to 10 minute inspection is all it takes to minimize the chances of being injured or stranded.
The ATV Safety Institute recommends the T-CLOC pre-ride checklist:

-Tires and Wheels – check air pressure, condition and check axle nuts and cotter pins.

-Controls and Cables – ensure smooth function of all cables and make sure foot shifter is firmly attached.

-Lights and Electrics – check that all switches are working and check head and tail light bulbs.

-Oil and Fuel – fill your tank, check the oil and clean the air filter.

-Chain/Driveshaft and Chassis – inspect the chain or drive shaft; make sure all nuts and bolts are tight.

When you ride:

-Always wear a helmet & goggles; also wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

-Paved roads are not for ATVs; they should only be crossed over, never ridden on.

-Drugs and alcohol should never be used if you are going to ride an ATV.

-No passengers are allowed on a single-rider ATV.

-Don’t speed and ride only on designated trails.

-Supervise young riders and ride an ATV that is right for your age.
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Leave it to lawmakers: Having spent 8 years trying to pass a law that would reduce the risk of Carolina ATV accidents, lawmakers are now holding up the law over debates about whether or not it is strong enough, the State reported.

Our Anderson personal injury lawyers understand the high risks riders face in ATV accidents — particularly young children. The South Carolina legislature had drafted a law that would require youth training and would limit ATV use by children. However the agriculture committee in the House gutted the measure, permitting children as young as 6 years old to rider four-wheelers, while making exemptions for hunting.
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Various versions have been passed around by lawmakers since the death of a teen at a 2003 birthday party. South Carolina is one of only six states that currently does not regulate ATV use by children.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates 450 kids a year are hurt in ATV accidents in South Carolina.

The new measure would:

-Bar unlicensed youths from carrying passengers on ATVs.

-Require training for those under 16.

-Require helmets and protective gear for those under 16.

-Require those under 16 be accompanied by an adult.

North Carolina ATV accidents have killed 64 riders in the past three years, according to the government’s ATV Safety website. State law prohibits riders under the age of 8 and limits the size of the machines for older riders. Underage riders must also have an ATV safety certificate.
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