All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are widely used for work and recreation across Alabama.
Unfortunately, ATV accidents happen frequently. Drivers, passengers, and even bystanders could suffer severe and potentially catastrophic injuries. Because ATVs are almost always driven off-road, the terrain could be dangerous, leading to roll-over accidents and collisions with objects.
Driver negligence is also a common cause of injury crashes, including drunk driving, aggressive driving, or otherwise careless operation of the vehicle.
What Are Off-Road Vehicles?
An off-road vehicle usually refers to any vehicle capable of being driven on surfaces other than paved roads. Off-road vehicles are generally known for having larger tires with deeper threads than most motor vehicles.
Most off-road vehicles are also four-wheel drive and they often have flexible suspension for navigating rough terrain.
What Causes ATV Accidents?
While there are countless ways that an accident could occur, in general, some of the most common causes of ATV accidents include:
- Aggressive driving
- Inattentive driving
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Defective trail design or poor maintenance
- Objects or debris in the pathway of the vehicle
- Rollover accidents (a high likelihood due to the vehicle’s high center of gravity)
- Defective vehicle design or manufacturing
- Improper maintenance
How to Stay Safe on an ATV
The ATV Safety Institute lists several rules for staying safe on ATVs. The rules include:
- Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Always wear helmets and other protective gear
- Always ride on designated trails
- Always drive at a safe speed
- Always ride an ATV that is right for your age
- Never ride on paved roads (except to cross to another trail), to avoid being hit by another vehicle
- Never carry more passengers than the number the vehicle was designed to carry
- Always supervise riders younger than 16
Best Safety Gear for Riding an ATV
ATV safety gear typically includes a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmet. You will also want a long sleeve shirt and pants, especially if weather will be unfavorable.
Gloves, goggles, and boots are also recommended for most ATV riders. Chest protectors and neck protectors can also be very beneficial for a person’s protection.
Who Could Be Liable for an ATV Accident in Huntsville, AL?
After an ATV accident that results in serious injuries, an attorney could help you determine which party or parties could be liable for your crash. While you might be convinced that you know who is responsible for the harm you’ve suffered, keep in mind that the at-fault person or their insurance company will likely try to avoid accepting fault and paying you the compensation that you’re owed.
A lawyer with experience handling ATV accident cases could help you determine who is responsible and hold them accountable if they were negligent. Negligent parties could include:
- The driver of the ATV
- The owner of the property where the crash occurred
- The manufacturer of a defective vehicle or defective part
- A business that sold or rented the ATV
- The driver of another vehicle
How Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., Can Help
Anyone who has been hurt in an ATV accident in Huntsville or a surrounding area of Alabama should call Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., for help right away. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for our clients through product liability, premises liability, and other personal injury actions.
You can have us provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call us or contact us online to receive a free consultation.