ATV Riding Comes With Risks
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), hundreds of people are injured or killed each year in ATV accidents. This article provides general information about ATV related injuries, some Missouri ATV laws, and a summary of ATV safety tips recommend by the CPSC.
Tip #1 Take a Hands-On Safety Course
Take a formal hands-on ATV training course. Drivers who have had training have a lower risk of injury.
Tip #2 Don’t Allow People Under the Age of 16 to Ride an ATV
Don’t allow children or anyone under the age of 16 to ride or drive an adult ATV. Not only is it unsafe, there are age restriction laws. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, children under the age of 16 are twice as likely to be injured when riding adult ATVs instead of youth ATVs.
Tip #3 Wear a Helmet and Safety Gear
Wear an appropriate helmet and protective safety gear, such as gloves and boots. Long sleeved clothing and long pants also provide added protection. Wearing protective gear can help reduce the risk or severity of an injury. Missouri laws require that both ATV drivers and individuals “being towed or propelled” by an ATV wear securely fastened helmets.
Tip #4 Don’t Drive on Paved Roads
Do not drive ATVs on paved roads unless the ATV is specifically designed to do so. Remember, ATV stands for “All-terrain Vehicle” which means that they are designed for “off-road” riding, not highway driving. ATVs can be difficult to control on pavement. Given that ATVs can weigh close to 800 pounds; rollovers can cause life-threatening injuries. There are also Missouri laws restricting ATV road driving, with some agricultural and industrial exceptions.
Tip #5 Never Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Never drive or ride an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs! Enough said on this tip!
Tip #6 Never Carry a Passenger on a Single Rider ATV
Never carry a passenger on an ATV designed for only one person. Passengers can inadvertently shift their weight and cause the operator to lose control.
Defective ATV Equipment
Although drivers are often blamed for ATV related accidents, defective equipment can be the culprit. It is often difficult to prove equipment is responsible for an injury or a death, so we use industry experts to conduct investigations and provide expert testimony. Experts help address the complexities involved with proving defective equipment.
Missouri ATV Laws
Missouri law addresses the usage of ATVs. The laws help ensure the safety of our loved ones. ATV laws explain the consequences for those that disregard laws and safety. Below are a few of the Missouri laws regarding ATVs.
Per 301.705.4 of the Missouri Revised Statutes (RSMo), no person under the age of sixteen can operate an all-terrain vehicle unless accompanied by a parent, guardian, or an adult authorized by the parent or guardian to supervise the operator. There are some exceptions to this statute when the ATV is driven on private property owned by the parent or guardian.
Per 300.348.4 RSMo, it is a Class C misdemeanor to operate an ATV without a helmet, with a passenger (except for agricultural purposes), under the influence of alcohol/controlled substance, or in a way that endangers a person or property.
Call Day or Night for an Experienced ATV Injury Attorney
If you have any questions about ATV (or similar types of vehicle) accidents in Missouri, contact attorney Chris Benjamin at KC Road Lawyers by calling 816-738-5725 or navigating to our contact page for a consultation at the firm’s Belton or Butler Missouri offices.