Girardi | Keese

California ATV accidents could cause serious injuries, death

With summer comes an increase in Southern California adventurers seeking outdoor activities. For many, this may include riding ATVs on private property, permitted public trails or at specialized facilities. With this rise in ATV riding in the summer, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission wishes to warn both novice and experienced riders of the risk of serious injuries that come with these vehicles.

In the years from 2004 to 2010 there were an average of 700 ATV-related deaths, and 136,000 visits to the emergency room for ATV injuries each year across the country. From 2004 to 2006, ATV deaths rose 65 percent for children and 85 percent for adults over the period from March to April. This year, 28 children and 130 adults have died since in ATV-related accidents, and this number is expected to rise through July.

Many ATV-related accidents can be avoided by riders taking measures to be vigilant about their safety. This may include taking training courses, wearing appropriate safety gear, not carrying more passengers than the ATV is designed for, and limiting use of these vehicles to the surfaces they are intended to be used on. However, it almost goes without saying that not all accidents are preventable, especially those caused by the negligent or reckless conduct of another.

If a facility where individuals can rent and drive ATVs were to improperly maintain trails and equipment, or if an ATV were to be faultily manufactured and a rider were to be injured or killed as a result, the facility or manufacturer could be found liable by means of a civil claim. Lawsuits are permissible in our state when someone's negligent or intentional acts cause the death of another. Being vigilant about safety will benefit all Southern California ATV riders and hopefully lead to a reduction in serious injuries and death.

Source: BrevardTimes.com, "CPSC Urges ATV Riders to Stay Safe this Summer," June 29, 2012

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