A Dubious Distinction: KY & ATVs

Data gathered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that Kentucky has the dubious distinction of leading the country in ATV deaths.

Used for both recreational and rescue purposes, “quads” or All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) provide easy access to off-road areas. They are especially popular here in Kentucky, despite the fact that they cause thousands of injuries and fatalities every year. From 2007 through 2011, there were 122 ATV fatalities in our state alone. The next ranking state was a distant second at 25 people less (97 ATV deaths). Of particular concern is the fact many of the people involved in ATV accidents are children.

Causes of ATV Accidents

Causes of ATV accidents include driver inexperience, no protective gear, too many riders, driver intoxication, and unsafe speed. Although laws aimed at protecting ATV riders have been expanding across the U.S., many lawmakers are cautious about infringing on the rights of parents and property owners. In some states, there are no license training requirements, nor is there an age limit to begin operating an ATV.

In the state of Kentucky:

  • All riders under 16 must wear a helmet at all times.
  • Riders over age 16 must wear a helmet on public property.
  • ATVs are not allowed on roadways, except for agricultural or industrial purposes.

Unfortunately, not everyone obeys the laws.

Recently, two healthcare professionals have traveled around the state talking with people about their ATV use. They found that about 80 percent of those surveyed had an ATV at home or one readily available and that many treated ATVs as a primary source of transportation.

This widespread use lulls many people into disregarding the danger of ATVs and failing to use common sense.

It is highly likely that many accidents could be avoided if people wore protective clothing such as helmets and boots, rode appropriately sized machines, supervised children as both riders and bystanders, and stayed off the roads (ATVs have no rear differential, which makes them prone to tipping on paved surfaces).

If you or someone you love has been injured in an ATV accident, contact the personal injury attorneys of the Johnson Law Firm to find out whether you can receive compensation for such costs as medical bills, vehicle repairs, pain and suffering, and loss of earnings. Call us toll free at 1-855-997-8980 or contact us by filling out this form. We’re ready to help with a free initial consultation.

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