A recent rise in ATV accidents has Dawson County Emergency Services urging riders to take extra precautions this summer.
Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford made a grave appeal to the public through the Dawson News:
"We've seen an increased number of injuries due to the lack of helmets," he said. "With summer coming on and increased usage of ATVs, bicycles and other outside sports that are maybe considered...above average in danger, like mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing - all of these have recommendations that people wear a helmet. We just encourage them to do that, because certainly head and spinal injuries are very significant, they are life changing and they are very expensive on our society and the health care industry."
Personal injury attorneys at The Murray Law Firm represent many victims of ATV accidents and warn that while safety begins with the rider it is also the responsibility of ATV outfitters, land owners and motor vehicle drivers.
- Outfitters who rent ATVs and manage recreational ATV facilities are responsible for protecting all riders legally using their vehicles and facilities.
- Land owners should take precautions to carefully mark land boundaries with visible markers. Unmarked wire and rope boundaries may be fatal to cyclists and ATV riders.
- Motor vehicle drivers must avoid distractions and watch for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and ATV drivers.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following safety tips for ATV riders:
- Always wear protective gear, especially a helmet, when riding ATVs.
- Do not drive ATVS with a passenger or ride as a passenger, as the majority of ATVs are designed to carry only one person.
- Do not drive ATVs on paved roads.
- Do not permit children to drive or ride adult ATVs.
- Over-the-ankle boots, goggles, gloves and long pants and long sleeved shirts are also suggested as additional protective gear when riding ATVs.
We wish all ATV riders a safe and fun summer. If you have been injured in an ATV accident and would like to discuss your legal options with our attorneys, please contact us toll free at 888.842.1616.