According to the Rockford Register Star, a 19-year-old Oregon man suffered critical injuries in February when he was involved in an ATV accident. Riding ATVs or all-terrain vehicles is a popular pastime and both adults and children enjoy using these vehicles to go off-roading. Unfortunately, as this recent accident shows, ATVs aren’t always harmless fun.
Our Portland, OR accident attorneys urge everyone in the state to be very careful in using ATVs and other recreational vehicles. While we know that these can be a great time, we urge you to follow basic safety tips, and we urge parents to use common sense about letting their kids ride on these vehicles or on 4 wheelers or other related types of off-road transportation.
The ATV Accident
The February ATV accident that caused the 19-year-old to suffer critical injuries occurred when he was traveling in a ditch along a roadway. The ditch was filled with ice and the ATV skidded out of control.
When the ATV lost control, the young driver crashed into a tree. The driver was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Avoiding ATV Accidents
This ATV accident wasn’t the first in Oregon, and it won’t be the last. There are, however, certain things people can and should do if they plan on riding all-terrain vehicles, 4x4s, snowmobiles or any other type of vehicle intended for off-roading or joy riding.
Some of the key safety tips include:
- Riding in open areas away from trees, cars and other obstacles that you could crash into in the event that you lose control. There are also designated ATV trails that you can ride on in various locations, and you should consider sticking to these trails.
- Maintaining a safe and reasonable speed when riding on an ATV or other recreational vehicle. The appropriate speed should be determined by the current weather conditions and the potential dangers of the environment where you are riding the ATV.
- Wearing appropriate safety gear including a helmet, boots and gloves. It is possible to buy full-face sports helmets specifically intended for ATV riders that both make riding safer and that make it easier to protect yourself in the event that an accident occurs. Whatever helmet you purchase, make sure it is DOT approved so you know it meets minimum safety requirements.
- Riding with a friend so you are not alone in the event that you do get injured. If you are in a remote area, make sure you have a cell phone with reception or some means to get help in the event that something does go wrong.
- Refrain from riding when you have consumed any alcoholic beverages, drugs or intoxicating substances.
Parents of young children who are interested in riding any type of all-terrain or off-roading vehicle should also think carefully about the safety risks involved. While unlicensed drivers can operate certain types of off-road vehicles for recreational use, this doesn’t mean it is safe or advisable to allow your children to do so.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in the Portland area, contact Zbinden & Curtis. Call (503) 287-5000.