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All-Terrain Vehicles Not All Fun And Games

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To its credit, Arkansas boasts some of the most beautiful trails in the nation for riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), a popular vehicle in rural areas for recreation, transportation and agricultural work. Indeed, the Ozark National Forest is home to an amazing labyrinth of wilderness where ATV riders can escape civilization and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of nature.

No driver’s license, no problem

In Arkansas, anyone 12 years of age or older can operate an ATV. Those younger than 12 may operate them provided they are accompanied by a person 18 years or older, are on parents’ land, or have the permission of the land owner to ride there. Loose regulations in Arkansas, combined with the exhilaration ATV adventures provide, make riding these vehicles a popular pastime for children.

Scary statistics

The figures on the subject are staggering and point to exponential jumps in the number of children and young adults injured while riding ATVs. Since the early 1980s, when ATV riding started to gain popularity, ATV injuries jumped from about 10,000 to more than 150,000 per year. In Arkansas alone, ATV accidents have accounted for 312 deaths since 1982, with close to 70 of them being children under the age of 16.

Tragic deaths

The most recent Arkansas tragedy occurred near Leachville, when a 12-year-old ATV driver was killed when his ATV overturned, a common safety issue associated with the design of ATVs. ATVs are prone to tipping, crushing small drivers in the process due to their high center of gravity. To date, manufacturers haven’t developed a sound solution to this design flaw.

Serious ATV accidents cause major trauma to victims. Competent accident attorneys can help ATV riders and their families seek the compensation they deserve.