ATV accidents are a growing problem across the United States, and Alabama is a state that sees a significant number of accidents and fatalities every year. If you’re getting ready for a summer of ATV riding, take the right steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.
If you or someone you love is injured in an ATV accident, it’s important to discuss your options with an attorney. Call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-432-0612 to talk about your case.
Preparing for Summer Riding
Summer is the most popular time for ATV riding. This means that you need to be extra careful when exploring the great outdoors, as you may encounter riders of varying skill levels and experience levels. Reviewing these tips ahead of time can help you make the most of every trip.
Start with the Proper Helmet and Riding Gear
Wearing the proper safety gear on every trip is non-negotiable. Ensure that your helmet meets current safety standards. If you plan on riding at dusk, make sure you wear reflective clothing that will make you visible to others. Additionally, wear gear that will protect you from injuries if you crash.
Take a Safety Course
No matter how long you have been riding, you can always use a refresher. Before you take your first ride of the season, take a quick safety course to ensure that you are doing everything you can to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Get Your ATV Checked Out
If your ATV has been sitting in the shed or garage for months, you have no idea what condition it is in. Take your ATV to a reputable mechanic and have it checked out for any safety concerns. Make sure you get it checked out at least one week prior to your first trip so you have time to take care of any lingering issues.
Keep Children 16 and Younger Off of Adult ATVs
No matter how much your teenaged child or sibling begs to go on the adult ATV with you, stand strong. Children are at much greater risk of serious injuries than adults are. If they must ride on an ATV, get them on an ATV designed for their size and age.
No Children Younger Than Six on Any ATV
Even if you have an ATV designed for younger users, children younger than six should never be on any ATV. The risks are simply too great for such young children. Consider planning an alternate activity so they don’t feel left out.
Stay Off of Paved Surfaces
This is perhaps the most important safety tip on this list. ATVs were created for off-road use. They are not built to navigate smooth roads and ignoring this can cause serious or fatal accidents. Riding an ATV on a paved road can cause your ATV to flip over, leaving you at further risk of being hit by a car or truck driving on the same road. If you must cross a paved road to get to the unpaved terrain on the other side, do so quickly and ensure you are completely clear to cross on both sides.
Don’t Ride Under the Influence
A significant number of fatal ATV accidents started with everyone enjoying some beer or cocktails before exploring. People underestimate the risk of driving an ATV while impaired, since they don’t expect to meet other riders or encounter unexpected obstacles. However, if you get in an accident while impaired, you’ll likely struggle to take the right steps afterward.
You may not notice that someone in your group is seriously injured, know where you are so you can call for help, or be able to get back home. Pass on all alcoholic beverages and drugs if you plan on riding the ATV later.
Be Prepared for the Weather
Getting stuck in inclement weather can be dangerous if you’re on an ATV. Check the weather forecast multiple times leading up to your ride so you can make any necessary changes to your plans.
Contact Burns, Cunningham & Mackey for Help After an ATV Accident
No matter how careful you are while riding, you can’t control others’ actions. If you are injured in an ATV accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the other party. To talk about your case in greater detail, call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-432-0612 or contact us online.