All-terrain-vehicles (ATVs) are a staple of America’s recreation-loving culture. People own ATVs for a host of reasons and enjoy using them at their cabins, lake homes, and farms. In fact, ATVs are so popular that hundreds of thousands are bought in America each year.

While many who own and use ATVs do so responsibly, these sporty vehicles can actually be quite dangerous—especially if not used correctly. In 2018, more than 80,000 ATV-caused injuries were treated in emergency rooms and more than 250 individuals lost their lives in car accidents involving ATVs.

What is even more tragic is that a large percentage of those injured and killed in ATV accidents are children. From data stretching back to the early 1980s, it has been reported that more than 3300 children have been killed in ATV accidents.

Why ATVs Can Be Dangerous

There are numerous reasons ATVs can be dangerous. For starters, because they are not cars, many drivers think they have free reign and don’t need to consider safety or follow the law when driving an ATV.

Some of the most common dangerous behavior ATV owners exhibit include:

Some drivers also simply take more risks while they are driving ATVs as they see reckless driving as a sport and part of the adventure. While adventurous driving is certainly part of the thrill of ATVs, it can increase the odds of an accident and ultimately injury or death.

Common ATV Injuries

Because of the unique shape of ATVs and how they are driven, there are several types of injuries that are more common than others. These injuries include:

  • Head injuries: Concussions and brain injuries are especially common for riders who choose not to wear a helmet.
  • Paralysis: Spinal cord injuries are very possible if a rider is thrown from the ATV and lands awkwardly on their head or neck.
  • Broken Bones: Being thrown off the ATV or having it roll over on top of you can result in broken bones. Collar bones, leg bones, and arm bones are all commonly broken in ATV accidents.

In addition to these injuries, cuts, scrapes, and bruises are likely to happen any time there is an accident. While these might not be too severe, they can cause unnecessary pain and be debilitating in their own rights

Ways to Prevent ATV Accidents and Injuries

There are many things ATV owners and drivers can do to prevent ATV accidents and injuries.

Some of these precautions include:

  • Wearing a helmet anytime you drive an ATV
  • Taking an ATV driving class
  • Avoiding risky behavior while driving an ATV
  • Never drinking alcohol while using an ATV
  • Not let children operate an ATV on their own

By adopting these ATV best practices, you can lower your risk of accident and injury. If you are letting others drive your ATV, make sure they promise to abide by your rules of use.

What to Do if You are Injured in an ATV Accident

If you or someone you know are injured in an ATV accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention immediately. Nothing matters more than your health and the health of your loved ones. After that, you might also want to contact an ATV accident attorney who can advise you on whether or not you can seek compensation for your injuries.

A good lawyer will examine your case, investigate it, and determine if your injuries were the result of another person’s negligence. If that is the case, you might be able to sue for damages or settle in an out of court agreement. You shouldn’t have to pay for your injuries on your own. A qualified ATV accident lawyer can help get you the compensation you deserve.