A 10-year-old boy has died just two days after an ATV crash in Marion County that sent him to the hospital with critical injuries. The FHP report says the deceased was the passenger of an ATV driven by an 11-year-old boy. The driver was on an open field on private property in Summerfield, south of Ocala, when he made a sharp left turn. The sudden change in direction, the report says, caused the ATV to tilt on its side tires. The boy was thrown and airlifted to the hospital. The driver was not seriously injured.
News of this Florida ATV accident, the accident involving two children, prompted this post on ATV safety. The attorneys at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. have experience handling ATV cases and strongly encourage all Florida ATV riders to educate themselves on ATV safety and exercise caution while enjoying the ride. Any activity involving high speeds and heavy equipment is dangerous – ATVs are no exception. The statistics speak for themselves. ATVs are the fourth most deadly product the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission oversees, with more than 700 ATV related deaths per year. The number of estimated yearly injuries surpasses 107,000 and children are involved in approximately one-third of all ATV related deaths and injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following ATV safety tips:
- All ATV drivers, adults and children, should take an ATV Safety Course.
- Always wear a helmet and protective gear while riding ATVs.
- Most ATVs are designed for a single rider. Do not ride a single-rider ATV with a passenger or as a passenger.
- Do NOT ride on paved roads. ATVs have solid rear axles, which make turning on paved surfaces difficult and dangerous.
- Children under 16 should never drive or ride an adult ATV. Choose an age appropriate ATV.
- Children younger than 6 should never be on an ATV – either as a driver or passenger.
- Never drive ATVs under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
There are many steps parents can take to reduce the risk of ATV accidents involving their children. Parents need to be educated on ATV use and safety precautions. Most importantly, allowing a child to ride on an ATV that is inappropriate for their age group is dangerous. According to the CPSC, children younger than 16 years old lack the developmental skills to safely drive adult ATVs. Statistics show that more than 90 percent of all injuries to children involve this scenario.
Related Post: Ways to Prevent ATV Injuries
While it is not realistic to prevent every ATV accident, all owners, riders and parents who allow their children to ride should do their best to put in place limitations and safety precautions when ATVs are in use. And as always, common sense goes a long way. If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident, contact Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. for a free consultation with an experienced.