The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has issued a warning over the increasing number of deaths from all-terrain vehicle crashes on public roads.
Between 2015 and 2017, 1,671 people died in ATV accidents on public roads and” 90% of them males, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission's "2020 Annual Report on ATV-related Deaths and Injuries."
Beyond the fatalities, hundreds of thousands of riders visit trauma centers for their injuries every year.
From 2015 through 2019, the CPSC estimates that there were 524,600 emergency department-treated injuries in the U.S. associated with ATVs. The report also estimates that there were 140,000 emergency room visits during the period for children younger than 16.
More than three-quarters of the 11 million ATVs in America are used recreationally, while the rest are reserved for agricultural and industrial work, according to the ATV Safety Institute.
There are two factors that are contributing to this rash of deaths and injuries: young, thrill-seeking males, and a vehicle designed for off-road use traveling on public roads.
Local and state-level efforts have focused on enacting laws to restrict off-road vehicles to designated trails. However, the need to allow limited travel on roadways when accessing those trails complicates matters.
So, if you have an ATV or two, make sure that you or whoever is riding them takes the proper safety precautions.
Typical beginner accidents result from driving too fast for conditions or exceeding abilities. Novices are already more susceptible to exercising poor judgment, but when they travel with experienced riders, they often overreach their abilities in order to keep pace.
Handlebar kickback and losing hold of the handlebars after colliding with obstacles is particularly problematic for beginners.
If you own an ATV, you should also secure insurance for it to cover any damage or injuries you may cause with it, as well as comprehensive if it is stolen or vandalized. ATV coverage will often have a medical payments coverage if you or a friend is injured using the vehicle.
The ATV Safety Institute's Golden Rules
- Always wear a helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
- Never ride on paved roads, except to cross when done safely and permitted by law.
- Don't drive on terrain beyond your abilities.
- Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV designed for two people.
- Ride an ATV that's right for your age.
- Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
- Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
- Take an ATV Rider Course. The ATV Safety Institute has a free online course at: www.ATVSafety.org.
Give us a call today if you would like to discuss your insurance options.