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Having represented ATV accident victims for over two decades, the firm of Auger & Auger understands how severe the consequences can be — whether from financial or physical hardships, or both. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or fatality as a result of an ATV crash, we have a Charleston ATV accident attorney available right now for a free consultation.
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission publishes an Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries, including a wide range of statistics, rankings, and infographics. The current data reveals that from 1982 to 2016 a total of 14,653 U.S. deaths were attributed to ATV accidents; with 3,232 (22%) victims under the age of 16.
Over this time span, South Carolina sustained 198 total fatalities. It would seem this number is high for a mid-sized state; but, as it turns out, there’s another important statistic at play here. You will notice in the following CPSC infographic that 32% of ATV fatalities occur on public paved roadways:
According to the Department of Transportation, South Carolina has 76,067 total public road miles (ranking 28th in the U.S.). This fact additionally supports the fact that ATV fatalities are primarily occurring on roadways not legal for these vehicles to be ridden.
It would seem to make common sense that ‘off-road’ vehicles would be more dangerous ‘on-the-road,’ and yet, the practice persists. Perhaps a little more information on the subject will help dissuade the inclination.
First of all, South Carolina statutes don’t allow ATVs to be driven on public roads — but a Charleston ATV accident attorney knows that people tend to do it anyway. The message needs to be conveyed: Whether cruising through your neighborhood or venturing onto highways stretched across open lands — breaking these laws isn’t entertainment, it is a death-defying act which may actually result in a fatality, or dismemberment and disabling injuries.
All-terrain vehicles are hard to control on paved roadways. Not only are they at risk of being hit by cars and trucks, but they are also prone to flipping over. ATVs have a high center of gravity, with a narrow wheelbase which prevents them from easily being controlled while riding on paved roads. ATVs don’t have on-road tires, nor do they come equipped with other lighting and turn signals required for driving on our streets or highways.
The manufacturers are well aware of these technicalities, which is why all ATVs have warning labels with instructions never to operative them on public roads or paved surfaces, due to handling problems or potential collision with other motorized vehicles.
In 2011, South Carolina adopted the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Act (aka Chandler’s Law), which states that children ages 6 through 15 must ride with helmets and eye protection, cannot carry passengers, and be accompanied by an adult. They must also possess a safety training certificate showing successful completion of a “hands-on” ATV safety course approved by the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute, no ATVs are legal after dark. Those aged 5 and under are prohibited under any circumstances from operating an ATV.
For the safety of your children, yourself and others, remember to keep your ATV activity off the public paved roads. There is a beautiful 40-mile sandy trail open to hiking, cycling, and ATVs just 1 hour northeast of Charleston, known as Wambaw Cycle.
Please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone — it is imperative that you call an experienced ATV accident attorney immediately after a crash, so we can begin investigating the case. A team from Auger & Auger will be sent out to the scene to document the facts needed to prove your claim; including witness interviews and inspection of the ATV and any other vehicles involved. Insurance companies must perform their own investigation, however, they are going to concentrate on minimizing their culpability and exposure to liability.
While you are recuperating and healing from your injuries, our Charleston ATV accident attorney will be handling your claim; helping you to obtain medical treatment and recover lost wages, and fighting for the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
Call (843) 751-4690 today for your free consultation, with no fees due until recovery!