The Dangers of Riding ATVs in Mississippi
It’s officially summer, which means the weather is warming Biloxi and people are enjoying time outdoors. For many Mississippi residents, this means hitting the woods and roadways of the state with all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
While ATVs can be a lot of fun, it’s important to remember that they can also be quite dangerous if not used in a safe manner, and far too often those injured are children.
In 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission documented more than 300 fatalities and 93,000 injuries involving ATVs. And more than a quarter of those accidents involved children under the age of 16. Already this year Mississippi has received a sad reminder of how dangerous ATVs can be to children. In April, an 11-year-old boy in Fulton was killed when the ATV he was riding collided with a car.
Why Riding an ATV is Extra Dangerous in Mississippi
Mississippi has no law on the books that bars driving ATVs on roadways. While this makes driving an ATV down the street perfectly legal, that doesn’t mean it’s a great idea. Though more powerful ATVs are released every year, ATV tires are not made to handle the same conditions as driving down the road. Hitting a bump or traveling too fast could very easily result in an accident.
In addition, ATVs do not typically have turn signals or other safety lights that cars and trucks have. This makes ATVs difficult to spot by other vehicles at night, and if other drivers don’t know when or if you’re turning, it can very easily lead to a serious accident.
How to Stay Safe on an ATV in Mississippi
That being said, riding an ATV can still be a lot of fun, and there are still several steps you can take to reduce your chances of an accident or minimize any injuries. These include:
- Always wearing a helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves specifically meant for ATV riders.
- Never riding on paved roads unless it’s to cross a street, as ATVs are not designed for use on paved roads and riding on them substantially increases the risk of an accident.
- Not riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Never allowing more passengers on an ATV than are recommended by the manufacturer. For example, no passengers at all should be allowed on a single-rider ATV.
- Supervising riders under the age of 16.
- Operating an ATV only on trails and at the recommended speed.
- Taking an ATV safety course either online or in-person.
Dedicated Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
While many people think that personal injury attorneys only assist plaintiffs in car accidents, the truth is that personal injury attorneys can be useful in protecting your rights and helping you receive compensation for your injuries in the event of any sort of motor vehicle accident, including those involving ATVs. Contact The Law Offices of Judy Guice in Biloxi for a free consultation about your ATV case.