Houston ATV Accident Lawyer
An all-terrain vehicle (ATV), also known as a quad, three-wheeler, four-track, four-wheeler, or quadricycle, as defined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a vehicle that travels on low-pressure tires, with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars for steering control. As the name implies, it is designed to handle a wider variety of terrain than most other vehicles. Although it is a street-legal vehicle in some countries, it is not street-legal within most states and provinces of Australia, the United States, or Canada.
By the current ANSI definition, ATVs are intended for use by a single operator, although some companies have developed ATVs intended for use by the operator and one passenger. In some countries, the passenger is not required to wear a helmet. These ATVs are referred to as tandem ATVs.
The rider sits on and operates these vehicles like a motorcycle, but the extra wheels give more stability at slower speeds. Also dirt bikes are considered to be ATVs as that they were designed for off-road use only. Although most are equipped with three or four wheels, six-wheel models exist for specialized applications. Engine sizes of ATVs currently for sale in the United States, (as of 2008 products), range from 49 to 1,000 cc (0.049 to 1.0 L; 3.0 to 61 cu in).
In the United States, statistics released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) show that in 2005, there were an estimated 136,700 injuries associated with ATVs treated in US hospital emergency rooms. In 2004, the latest year for which estimates are available, 767 people died in ATV-associated incidents. According to statistics released by CPSC, the risk of injury in 2005 was 171.5 injuries per 10,000 four-wheel ATVs in use. The risk of death in 2004 was 1.1 deaths per 10,000 four-wheelers in use. Focus has shifted to machine size balanced with the usage of ATVs categorized by age ranges and engine displacements—in line with the consent decrees. ATVs are mandated to bear a label from the manufacturer stating that the use of machines greater than 90 cc by riders under the age of 12 is prohibited. This is a ‘manufacturer/CPSC recommendation’ and not necessarily state law.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CPSC recommended that no children under the age of 16 should ride ATVs. A Canadian study stated that “associated injury patterns, severity, and costs to the healthcare system” of pediatric injuries associated to ATVs resemble those caused by motor vehicles, and that public policies should reflect this fact. Helmets are underutilized and result in Glasgow Coma Scale scores in children presenting from ATV accidents being similar to those in motorcycle accidents.
According to The New York Times on September 2, 2007, the Consumer Product Safety Commission met in March 2005 to discuss the dangers of ATVs. Data from 2004 showed 44,000 children under 16 injured while riding ATVs, 150 of them fatally. Says the Times, “National associations of pediatricians, consumer advocates and emergency room doctors were urging the commission to ban sales of adult-size ATVs for use by children under 16 because the machines were too big and fast for young drivers to control. But when it came time to consider such a step, a staff member whose name did not appear on the meeting agenda unexpectedly weighed in.” That staff member was John Gibson Mullan, “the agency’s director of compliance and a former lawyer for the A.T.V. industry” – the Times bases the claim on a recording of the meeting. Mullan reportedly said that the existing system of warnings and voluntary compliance was working. The agency’s hazard statistician, Robin Ingle, was not allowed to present a rebuttal. She told the Times in an interview, “He had hijacked the presentation. He was distorting the numbers in order to benefit industry and defeat the petition. It was almost like he still worked for them, not us.” CPSC reports of ATV deaths and injuries show an increase in the raw numbers of deaths and injuries that is statistically significant. The rate of deaths and injuries, which takes into account that the number of ATVs in use has risen over the last ten years, has been shown to have experienced no statistically significant change.
The United States government maintains a website about the safety of ATVs where safety tips are provided, such as not driving ATVs with a passenger (passengers make it difficult or impossible for the driver to shift their weight, as required to drive an ATV) or not driving ATVs on paved roads (ATVs usually have a solid rear axle with no differential).
In 1988, the All-terrain Vehicle Safety Institute (ASI) was formed to provide training and education for ATV riders. The cost of attending the training is minimal[clarification needed] and is free for purchasers of new machines that fall within the correct age and size guidelines. Successful completion of a safety training class is, in many states, a minimum requirement for minor-age children to be granted permission to ride on state land. Some states have had to implement their own safety training programs, as the ASI program cannot include those riders with ATVs outside of the age and size guidelines, which may still fall within the states’ laws.
In industry, agriculture workers are disproportionately at risk for ATV accidents. Most fatalities occur in white men over the age of 55.
Houston ATV Accident Lawyer
It is advisable to consult an experienced cause of accident Houston truck accident attorney Reshard Alexander who will help determine liability and the right compensation amount that you should get for your injuries. The insurance company of the at-fault driver may not be willing to pay for damages and we can help you with the negotiation process. Call us today at (713) 766-3322 for a free consultation.
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