ATV Injuries and Accidents
NBC News 2 has reported that an 11-year-old boy recently had to be airlifted to a hospital in Tampa after an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crash happened at the Redneck Yacht Club in Charlotte County. A 23-year-old young man was driving a 4×4 ATV with the 11-year-old, a family friend, when the vehicle was apparently turned too sharply which caused it to flip onto its side. The child who was tagging along on the vehicle reportedly had his leg crushed during the incident, causing injuries that were described by officials in the police report as “permanent.” He was taken to a local children’s hospital in serious condition.
Background on the Dangers of ATVs
ATVs are used across the country, including here in Florida, for both work and recreational purposes. The fact that our generally pleasant weather means outdoor activities are a year-round option here also means that these vehicles can almost always be used whether to navigate around farms and fields or to ride for fun through a backyard.
These vehicles can be helpful and entertaining when they are used properly and it can be easy for anyone who spends a lot of time around an ATV to forget how dangerous these high-powered vehicles can be. But when operated unsafely, these vehicles can also cause accidents resulting in serious injury or even death. And sadly, examples like the one outlined above that involve children occur are quite common. According to statistics published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), almost a quarter of the ATV accidents that occurred between 1982 and 2016 involved a child younger than 16 years old. Of these tragedies, just under half of fatality victims were younger than 12 years of age.
Understanding Florida ATV Law
Regardless of where you plan on riding your ATV in the Sunshine State, it is important to keep up with and obey the state ATV laws that can help you operate your vehicle safely. Some things you should keep in mind include:
- Every ATV should be properly titled by submitting a completed form HSMV 82040 to a Motor Vehicle Service Center;
- Unless a county has chosen to operate differently, the default law says ATVs can only be operated on unpaved roadways where the posted speed limit is less than 35 MPH and only during daylight hours;
- Anyone under the age of 16 who is operating an ATV on public land should have adult supervision at all times as well as proof of completion of a Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) safety course; and
- Even on private property, operators and riders under the age of 16 must wear a USDOT approved safety helmet and eye protection.
Reach Out to Us
If you were injured in an ATV accident, you need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure you receive proper compensation for the tragedies suffered by you and your loved ones. The team of experienced West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm have spent years helping personal injury clients who have found themselves on the wrong end of someone else’s negligence or careless behavior. Contact our office to begin exploring your options with a free consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Miami, Ocala, Bradenton, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville and Daytona Beach areas.