atv safety & tips

Adrenaline junkies unite – ATV season is in full force!  People of all ages agree, ATV recreation is an extremely exhilarating adventure when used safely around your property. 

There is, however, a darker side to one of thrill-seekers’ most beloved activities.  These vehicles can be very dangerous when not used properly.  Every year, 135,000 people are injured in ATV accidents.  In these accidents, over 700 people are killed.  Of these 700, approximately 1/3 of the deaths are of people under the age of 16.  A large number of these accidents could have been prevented if proper safety advice was followed.

Who is at risk?

While people of all ages are at risk of suffering an ATV accident-related injury, children are particularly susceptible to ATV injuries.  This is due to a few things -- lack of control and coordination, insufficiency of experience operating motorized vehicles and lack of judgment.  These all can result in poor decision- making and risk-taking behavior.

In addition to children, riders who operate the ATV under the influence of alcohol or drugs or do not follow the safety rules have a much higher risk of being in an ATV accident and suffering an injury.

Common causes of ATV accidents

Regardless of age, some of the most common causes of ATV accidents include:

  • Reckless driving
  • Unsafe speeds
  • Defective parts
  • Operation of the ATV on roads and sidewalks instead of trails and off-road locations
  • Maneuvering over hills and trails that are too steep, too muddy, too sandy or too rocky
  • More than one rider on an ATV built for just one driver
  • Failure to wear protective equipment
  • Operation in bad weather
  • Riding without adult supervision

Tips to prevent injuries

As advocates for recreational safety, Hupy and Abraham recommends the following safety measures to ensure your experience is both fun and safe:

  • Always wear protective gear – especially a helmet.
  • Take an ATV safety-training course.
  • Read the manual on your ATV and ensure you fully understand how to operate the vehicle.
  • Do not drive ATVs on paved roads because they are difficult to control.
  • Never drive an ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Inspect your ATV for issues before riding.
  • Don't let children drive or ride adult ATVs.

While fun is the main goal when driving an ATV, personal safety is the most important factor.  Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent injuries.  When a rider is injured by someone taking unnecessary risks such as driving recklessly or speeding, injured victims have a right to be compensated for their preventable injuries.

If you have been injured in an ATV accident, contact the personal injury experts at Hupy and Abraham for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call 800-800-5678 or start a live chat with us anytime at

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.