Avoiding an ATV Accident in Missouri – ATV Safety Tips

ATV in MissouriAll-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) are motorized vehicles that are used off-road (not on a paved road) for family entertainment. It is important to remember that ATV’s are not made for pavement, and many accidents occur by riding on a paved road improperly or illegally.  ATV riders may find it necessary to occasionally cross a paved road.  To reduce the risk of injury, follow state laws, yield to oncoming traffic, and ride carefully as the ATV will handle differently when on pavement.  Also, cross when your visibility is not blocked and cross at a 90 degree angle.

Extreme activities, such as ATV’ing comes with safety risks that should not be ignored.  ATV’s have large engines that are very powerful.  Three-wheeler ATV’s are rare to find, as production of these models stopped in 1988, due to stability and severe safety issues.  It is not required for there to be safety cages, roll bars, or seatbelts in these vehicles.  In addition, ATV’s have a high center of gravity.  All of these components mean that the vehicle can easily tip over and riders can be thrown from the vehicle.

Collisions and rollovers are common accidents that involve ATV’s and can result in fatalities.  Approximately 400 people are killed in the United States; on an annual basis, as a direct result of ATV accidents, and about a fourth of this number are children under the age of 16.  Common minor injuries include scrapes, cuts, and broken bones.

There are no standard Federal laws regarding safety guidelines for riding ATV’s, but each U.S. State has their own set of rules and regulations in place.  For example, Missouri law prohibits operating an ATV without a helmet and requires anyone under the age of 18 being towed by an ATV to also wear a helmet. The law also prohibits passengers to ride an ATV’s unless it is for agricultural purposes unless the vehicle is specifically designed to carry more than one passenger.

Below are some general ATV safety guidelines that should be observed

  1. 3 wheel atvLearn how to properly operate an ATV, by taking a hands-on professionally taught course.  One of many things that this type of course will teach you, will be to how to achieve and maintain a correct riding posture, which will help you be safe, and react quickly and effectively in any situation
  2. Ride an ATV that is appropriate for your age and physical size.
  3. Minimize cuts and scrapes by wearing a helmet, gloves, protective eye gear, long pants, and boots.
  4. Ride during daylight hours only, for easy visibility.
  5. Ride at a safe speed.

In addition, it is advised to never ride a three-wheeled ATV.  Do not use drugs or drink alcohol, prior to or during an ATV adventure.

Also, a good maintenance check, prior to each ride, will also reduce your chances of incurring an injury.  For instance, check the air pressure of the tires, and that all nuts and bolts are tight and secure.  Keeping a quality tool kit in the ATV will ensure a safe riding experience, and it is very helpful if are faced with an unexpected mechanical issue.

Injuries are not guaranteed to be avoided, but if all laws and safety guidelines are followed, parents can be rest assured that they are doing everything possible, to protect their children during this fun, yet risky adventure.

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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