All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have become quite popular for the past few decades. Families all over Minnesota buy them as a means to get around a rural property and/or as a form of entertainment. Oftentimes, teenagers who are not yet able to lawfully operate a motor vehicle drive ATVs on private property or sometimes on public roads. Families are not always aware that a driver’s license is necessary to operate an ATV on public roads.
Parents who allow young adults to operate these vehicles may believe that they are safe if they don’t come into close contact with larger and faster vehicles, so they may order the children to stay on a specific property and off the roads. Unfortunately, as a recent tragic incident in Spicer establishes, even use of ATVs on private property without a license can lead to severe injuries or death.
ATVs aren’t as stable as people may think
The way that people operate ATVs might lead them to think that they’re designed in ways that will protect individuals should a crash occur. Many ATV operators and occupants learn the hard way that these vehicles are often neither stable nor appropriately protective in the event of a crash or rollover. They also lack proper protection should a crash occur.
It is very easy for those with minimal driving experience to make a mistake while turning or traveling on an incline that results in the ATV rolling over or crashing. An injurious ATV crash in Spicer in July involved an 11-year-old and a 14-year-old, neither of whom had helmets on when they struck a tree. This occurred just weeks after another ATV crash in Hibbing claimed the life of a four-year-old boy.
Manufacturers may have some liability for certain crashes. In scenarios where the design of an ATV as led to a rollover incident or likely increased the severity of someone’s injuries, the people affected by the issue might be in a position to take legal action against the manufacturer.