Michigan is a paradise for ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) riders, with more than 4,000 miles of trails featuring diverse terrain and scenery ranging from dense forests to picturesque coastlines to rocky hilltops. While ATVs have long been popular among outdoor enthusiasts, they can also be dangerous, especially for children.
Here is an overview of off-road riding and why it is important to call an ATV accident attorney if you or a loved one is injured in a crash
Michigan law defines an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) as “a vehicle with 3 or more wheels that is designed for off-road use, has low-pressure tires, has a seat designed to be straddled by the rider, and is powered by a 50cc to 1,000cc gasoline engine or an engine of comparable size using other fuels.”
Introduced in the mid-1970s, ATVs have continued to grow in popularity among riders of varying ages and skill levels, who enjoy exploring the many state-designated trails and off-road routes throughout Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas.
Because production of three-wheeled ATVs was banned in 1988 due to safety concerns, most ATVs in use today have four wheels. However, many three-wheeled vehicles are still ridden despite the warnings from various government agencies.
Because ATVs are a type of Off-Road Vehicle (ORV), owners and operators must follow the same laws that apply to ORVs.
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Unlike automobiles and motorcycles, liability insurance is not required for ATVs, ORVs, electric bikes and scooters. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to insure these vehicles under a homeowners or renters policy in case of theft or damage.
In addition, if an ATV has been retrofitted for on-road use, the vehicle has to be covered by a Michigan No-Fault policy before a registration and license plate can be issued.
ATVs are particularly dangerous for children and teens under 16. Many young people lack the experience and ability required to operate an ATV safely, especially the larger, heavier adult models. In fact, out of the 2,211 ORV-related fatalities from 2016 – 2018, more than 10 percent (298) of the victims were under 16, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
In addition, of the 526,000 people who received emergency room treatment for injuries resulting from ORV accidents, approximately one-third (140,000) were under 16, while half (69,300) of these victims were younger than 12 years old.
More than 90 percent of injuries and fatalities among those under 16 resulted from children riding on ATVs designed for adults. Because typical adult-size ATVs may weigh over 750 pounds and reach speeds up to 70 mph, smaller riders can easily lose control and be seriously hurt or killed in a crash or rollover.
Because of the high rate of accidents involving younger riders and passengers, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children under 16 should not be allowed to operate or ride ATVs under any circumstances.
These tips will help outdoor adventurers of all ages have safer, more enjoyable rides:
Determining liability for an ATV accident can be challenging, depending on the circumstances. If the crash was caused by someone else’s negligence, it may be possible to recover damages from the at-fault party or their insurance company by filing a lawsuit.
Here are some examples:
Because these cases are complex, hiring a qualified ATV accident attorney is the best way to receive the best financial outcome.
If you are injured in an accident involving any type of vehicle, we can help. Our knowledgeable lawyers are well-versed in laws regarding mopeds, motorcycles and other two- and three-wheeled vehicles. We know what it takes to win your case, and we are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve.
ATV accident law is complicated, but finding the right ATV accident attorney is simple.
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