All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are very popular in Florida, but they can be dangerous:
- On September 3, 2018, a 6-year-old boy died in an ATV accident in Lakeland, Florida. The boy was a passenger on an ATV driven by an 8-year-old boy.
- ABC 10 Local News reported in July 2018 that a South Florida teen lost four of her fingers when she was involved in an ATV accident in Utah.
Florida has specific laws about the use of ATVs. ATVs cannot be operated on a public road, street or highway. The only exception is that they may be operated on an unpaved public roadway where the posted speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour and only during daytime. (Florida Statute 316.2074)
No person under 16 years of age can operate, ride, or be otherwise propelled on an all-terrain vehicle unless the person wears a safety helmet meeting United States Department of Transportation standards and eye protection.
If a crash results in the death of any person, or in the injury of any person which results in treatment of the person by a physician, the operator of each all-terrain vehicle involved in the crash shall give notice of the crash pursuant to Florida Statute 316.066.
Safety tips for ATV use
The ATV Safety Institute (ASI) has a primary goal of promoting the safe and responsible use of ATVs in order to reduce accidents and injuries that may result from improper ATV operation by the rider. ASI has 8 golden rules for ATV safety:
- Always wear a Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over the ankle boots, and gloves.
- Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law: another vehicle could hit you. ATVs are designed to be operated off-highway.
- Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people.
- Ride an ATV that is right for your age.
- Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
- Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
- Take a hands-on ATV rider course and the free online e-course.
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) released its 2018 U.S. ATV fatalities report covering the period from January 1 through August 31, 2018. The report showed that there were 209 fatalities, 169 of which were drivers. There were 173 single-vehicle crashes, 69 of which were roll-overs. This means roll-overs accounted for 40 percent of the single-vehicle ATV crashes.
“Roll-overs can be a dangerous outcome of ATV accidents. Some ATV manufacturers have designed them in such a way as they may roll over easily. ATVs may also not protect the users adequately with roll cages or seat belts,” said Fort Myers Child Injury Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. “Manufacturers of ATVs and ATV parts are required, by law, to produce safe products. Should they not, they can be held liable and any accident resulting from their negligence can result in a personal injury lawsuit.”
“Should you or a loved one be injured in an ATV accident, please contact our experienced legal team to discuss your rights. We will be able to assist you in determining whether you have a legal case,” said Attorney Spivey.
Fort Myers ATV Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.