All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, are popular with adults, teens, and children in North Carolina.
It is important to exercise caution when riding an ATV, as they can be dangerous.
Over 650 people die each year in ATV accidents and close to 100,000 more suffer an injury of some kind.
Before operating an ATV in North Carolina, you should familiarize yourself with state laws regarding their use:
- ATVs are not allowed on public roads, except when crossing.
- Children under the age of eight are not permitted to operate ATVs. Children between the ages of 8 and 12 may only operate ATVs with an engine capacity of 70cc or less, and children between the ages of 12 and 16 may only operate ATVs with an engine capacity 90cc or less. All children under the age of 16 must be supervised by an adult when operating an ATV.
- All operators and riders must wear helmets and eye protection.
- Passengers are not permitted on any ATV that was not designed to carry passengers.
- Anyone born after January 1, 1990, must have an ATV safety certificate before operating an ATV.
- ATVs may not be driven after dusk or before sunrise unless the vehicle is equipped with headlights and tail lights.
- Operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited.
Common ATV Injuries
Common ATV injuries include lacerations, broken bones, whiplash, concussions, spinal cord injuries, and road rash. Many injuries are minor, requiring no medical care, but injuries can be serious, permanent, and even fatal.
Always follow safety regulations when operating or riding an ATV. Do not get on an ATV with a driver who appears impaired. Always wear a helmet and sturdy clothing, to protect you if you fall or are ejected from the vehicle.
Before operating or riding on an ATV, you should make sure the vehicle is covered by insurance. Homeowner policies usually cover ATVs, but you should check your policy to be sure. Separate ATV insurance is also available. Before you or a family member rides on an ATV owned by someone else, ask if it is insured.
Following safety laws and common sense safety precautions can greatly reduce the chance of an ATV accident or injury, but cannot eliminate the risk. ATVs are known for their tendency to roll over, and roll-overs account for many of the reported ATV injuries each year. If you have been injured in an ATV accident caused by faulty equipment or design, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. If you were injured as the passenger on an ATV, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries even if the operator was at fault for the accident.
Call a North Carolina Accident Attorney
The personal injury attorneys at Campbell & Associates have experience in ATV lawsuits and will be able to advise you of your options after an accident. We will be happy to meet with you and give you a free case evaluation. Call us today at 704-326-7243 to set up an appointment.