Studies have repeatedly shown that children who ride ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) are at a high risk for severe injuries, including amputations, spinal cord injuries, or even death. ATVs are becoming increasingly popular so injuries and trips to the emergency room due to accidents are on the rise. Between 2000 and 2005, ATV-related fatalities increased nearly 60% percent, with non-fatal ATV injuries increasing 48%.
A few weekends ago, a four-year-old Maryland boy was riding an ATV on his family’s property when the ATV overturned and pinned the boy in creek water. He was riding a 210-pound, Polaris 50cc ATV by himself on a Saturday evening. Trapped in water underneath the heavy ATV, the boy drowned. There is no age limit in Maryland for riding the ATVs on private property, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that children under six never ride any ATV.
Many ATV deaths and injuries result from overturning the vehicle, and, unfortunately, most ATV accidents involve damage to the head or spinal cord of the victim. If you are going to permit a young child to ride an ATV, he or she should always be wearing a helmet and riding a lighter, slower type of ATV. Adults should always be within sight to monitor the child. The Maryland boy who drowned had slipped away from his parents and taken the ATV without anyone’s knowledge.
Please contact a Maryland personal injury attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis, & Lightfoot L.L.P. if your family has experienced a vehicle accident under someone else’s supervision.