All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, are a popular recreational vehicle in Texas. ATVs are commonly used in rural locations for outdoor camping trips and for just having fun. While ATVs are enjoyable and entertaining, they can also be dangerous, especially when they are not driven in a safe manner.
If you were hurt in an ATV accident, you might be facing steep medical bills and rehabilitation expenses. If the accident was due to someone else’s negligence, you may be owed compensation for your injuries. It is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you in your claim.
Laws That Pertain to ATVs in Texas
Texas is one of the leading states for ATV injuries and fatalities. This is likely due to the fact that there are many ATVs in our state and scenic, expansive areas in which to ride them. That, coupled with our temperate climate makes ATV riding one of the most common forms of recreation in the state.
ATVs are subject to state and federal laws. According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, TXDMV, in order to operate an ATV on public property it must have a brake system, muffler system, head, and tail lights and a U.S. Forest Service qualified spark arrester. In addition, it must have a valid Off-Highway Vehicle decal issued through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In addition, ATV riders must wear protective headgear when driving on public property.
Preventing ATV Accidents and Injuries
Unfortunately, many ATVs are operated on private land and therefore are not subject to some important safety laws. You do not need to have a driver’s license to drive an ATV, and that is what makes them extremely attractive to teens. In addition, you are not required to have insurance. If you own an ATV, you should make sure that you take all of the safety precautions possible, even if they are not required by law.
One of the most important safety considerations is the use of a protective helmet. Do not allow anyone to ride your ATV without a helmet that fits properly. Drivers should be cautious, especially in areas that are unfamiliar and when there are other ATVs present. Do not allow more than one rider on an ATV at a time. Do not allow young children to ride ATVs, and provide teens with thorough instruction before allowing them to ride.
Because ATVs are open vehicles, drivers are subject to serious injuries when the ATV crashes or overturns. ATVs are often driven in rural areas where it can take some time for emergency responders to arrive if there is an accident. Instruct riders on safety precautions along with what to do if an accident happens.
Injuries due to ATV accidents can be extremely severe. Some common injuries include back and neck injuries, head trauma and broken bones.
If you or a loved one were hurt in an ATV accident, contact our legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm today to discuss your legal options.