Riding off-road can be fun — but it can also pose safety risks.

Off-Road Vehicle SafetyIn many parts of California and Arizona, riding off-road vehicles such as all terrain vehicles (ATVs) has become a popular recreational activity. And it’s little wonder; with our gorgeous outdoor scenery, great parks and beautiful weather, these vehicles give us an amazing way to explore and have a bit of fun.

However, off-road vehicles pose unique safety risks, especially for children. While these vehicles are often seen as safer than traditional vehicles such as cars and trucks, the reality is that they can be just as dangerous — especially if the right safety equipment is not worn. In 2013 alone, there were nearly 100,000 ATV injuries treated in emergency rooms across the United States. Children under the age of 16 made up a quarter of those injured. Of those accidents, 426 were fatalities. Between 1982 and 2013, there have been 13,043 reports of deaths related to ATVs.

Head trauma is the leading cause of death and disability associated with ATV and off-road vehicle accidents. In many cases, the rider was never properly trained about how to ride the off-road vehicle, and may not have been wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Other common injuries include spinal cord injuries, broken bones, injuries to the ribs and abdominal area, and neck injuries. Rollover crashes are happen, particularly if the rider is traveling at high rates of speed. ATVs and off-road vehicles can reach speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.

You can increase the safety for yourself and others when riding on off-road vehicles in a number of ways. First, make sure that you and anyone else in your party has had proper instruction on how to operate the vehicle. Depending on your child’s age, do not let him or her operate the vehicle on their own. Your child may not be able to drive the vehicle safely, and may not have the judgement to navigate turns, hills and other obstacles safely. Always wear proper safety equipment, including a helmet, each and every time. Never drink alcohol or use drugs when riding off-road vehicles or ATVs, and supervise your children closely whenever they are operating off-road vehicles. Finally, be sure that you are driving off-road vehicles in a safe area, away from hazards and main roads where passenger vehicles might be.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in an off-road vehicle accident, the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker may be able to help. Our attorneys are skilled at helping victims of all types of accidents, including off-road vehicle collisions. We will throughly investigate your case and evaluate all possible avenues for recovery, including the manufacturer of the equipment, the owner of the off-road vehicle, and the property owner where the accident occurred, as well as all applicable insurance companies. We have a 95% success rate and have recovered more than $2 billion dollars on behalf of our clients. Contact us today at 800-333-0000 or to schedule a free initial consultation. We never charge a fee unless we get money for you!