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PA personal injury lawyer warns of ATV danger

Six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer, Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, was injured last week when she hit a curb while riding an all-terrain vehicle in her home state of Arizona, flying off of a drop-off of over 5 feet, according to police reports. She severed her spinal cord in the accident that left her hospitalized. A letter from her family said that the broken vertebrae came within millimeters of rupturing her aorta.

This is just a reinforcement of the dangers posed by ATVs, especially for children. According to the website, there are more than 100,000 ATV-related emergency room visits and 700 deaths each year. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission 2012 Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries, which was released in April of this year, there were an estimated 12,400 ATV-related fatalities between 1982 and 2012. Of those fatalities, 2,944 were children younger than 16 years of age. This represents 24% of the total number of reported ATV-related fatalities.

In 2012, there were an estimated 107,900 ATV-related emergency department-treated injuries in the United States. 25% of these were children younger than 16 years of age. Of those injuries to children, half were younger than 12 years of age. ATV injuries are often severe and can include injuries to the head and neck, torso, and extremities. Studies show that head injuries were more likely for injured riders not wearing a helmet.

What Are the Laws of ATVs in the States?

The states with the highest number of ATV-related deaths, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, include California, Texas and Pennsylvania. The warmer months of July, August and September are the peak months for ATV-related incidents.

Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer, J. Christopher Munley, offers the following safety tips when riding an ATV:

  • Always wear a US Department of Transportation-certified helmet and other protective gear. Goggles, gloves, long pants, long-sleeved shirt and over the ankle boots are also recommended.
  • Stay off paved roads. ATV’s are designed to be driven on off-road terrain and are difficult to control on paved roads where they can easily overturn or collide with other vehicles. In some states, it is illegal to ride on paved roads for this reason.
  • Never allow children younger than 16 on adult ATVs. Studies have shown that more than 90% of the ATV-related injuries involving young children are due to lack of the skills needed to control faster, more powerful ATVs. Children riders should have age-appropriate youth models, which travel at lower speeds.
  • Never allow children under the age of 6 on an ATV, as a driver or passenger.
  • Never allow more people on an ATV than it is safely designed to handle.
  • Take an ATV safety course from a qualified instructor. Call your local department of transportation for information on where you may be able to find a safety course near you.

If you need a personal injury lawyer, the family of lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can fight for you! Call the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys at 855-866-5529 or visit

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