ATV Accident Attorneys
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Although it is an exciting form of recreation, ATVs designs lack stability, tipping or rolling over with ease. Weighing as much as 700 pounds, many riders get trapped beneath tipped vehicles during ATV accidents, leaving them injured, crushed and sometimes resulting in fatalities. High speeds and uneven terrain combined with rising popularity have provoked a rise in injuries and fatalities, especially in young people under the age of 16. If you’ve been injured, or someone you love has been killed in an ATV crash, our ATV accident attorneys can help.
ATV Defects and Poor Design
An All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) is a motorized, off-highway mode of transportation, designed to move on four tires, with the seat straddled by the operator and handlebars used for steering. Some ATV’s possess capabilities for up to two riders.
Growing in popularity, the appeal of four wheelers continues to rise despite rising injuries and deaths associated with Texas ATV accidents, regulation of the vehicles is extremely weak, placing most of the burden on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Injuries that riders may endure as a result of ATV accidents in Texas include:
Spinal cord injuries
While ATV’s are poorly designed, without vital safety aspects in mind, there are some common causes that have sparked an increase in four wheeler accidents in Texas. The operation of adult sized ATV’s by children or young adults under the size and weight suggestions is one dangerous action resulting in climbing injury statistics. In addition some ATV operators ride vehicles with a passenger, even if it is designed for one rider.
Texas ATV Laws
In Texas, there are an array of guidelines established that are meant to provide drivers and passengers of ATV’s with some protection from ATV accident injury. ATV’s must be equipped with effective brakes, a muffler system that functions properly, qualified spark arrester and working headlights and taillights for reduced visibility.
Helmets and safety gear are required for drivers and riders operating an ATV. ATV’s are not permitted on:
- Roads Streets
- Public Highways
- Bar ditches
- Road shoulders
- Grassy areas along roadways
Violations of ATV laws are a Class C misdemeanor.
Rollover Protection Structures on ATV’s
Some safety advocates have noted the importance of installing roll over protection on ATV’s, which could prevent some of the death and injuries plaguing its use, reports note. Though the protection devices are not yet mandatory, some studies and researchers suggest they should be. In fact, equipping ATV’s with safety and protection devices, like the roll over protection structures and bars, could prevent major spinal and head injuries. ATV manufacturers maintain that the vehicles are safe for riders, respite marked rises in injuries and fatalities.
Most ATV’s do not come equipped with safety bars, seat belts, and other safety features that could potentially save lives and lower instances of injury among riders and passengers.
The Yamaha Rhino 450 and 660 are two ATV models that have received criticism for the defects and flaws that make them a dangerous threat for riders, even at low speeds on flat terrain.
Contact a Texas ATV Accident Lawyer
The safety and adherence to product suggestions by consumers is important to protecting oneself and loved ones. But while, following ATV guidelines is important, safety advocates continue to push for more stringent regulation of the vehicles that could potentially cut back on ATV accident injuries and deaths. Defects in ATV’s are one such source of accidents, causing loss of control, fire danger, steering issues and inconsistent speed. If four wheeler defects are a factor in an ATV accident, manufacturers and retailers may be held liable for damages, injuries and deaths resulting. Our ATV accident attorneys can help you.
Contact an experienced Personal Injury Attorney at The Carlson Law Firm today for a free, no obligation consultation. We care, we can help.