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High Percentage of ATV Accident Deaths Are Children

Posted on in Recreational Vehicle Accidents

ATV accidents, ATV accidents in Illinois, Chicago ATV accident lawyerAll-terrain vehicles (ATVs) first made an appearance on American back roads in the 1970s, and their popularity has steadily increased, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS). However, with the increase of popularity in ATVs comes an increase in accidents involving ATVs, and a “disturbing” proportion of those injured in ATV accidents happen to be children.

In 1982, there were only 10,100 ATV-related injuries reported in the U.S. A decade later, that number had risen to 58,200. By 2007, there were more than 150,000 injuries caused in ATV-related accidents.

The severity of these accidents has also continued to increase, with only 29 deaths in 1982 to more than 750 in 2007. Over 25 percent of these fatalities (nearly 10,300 between 1982 and 2009) were people under the age of 16.

One major reason for this could be that driving an ATV does not require a specialized license like that of a motorcycle. The vast majority of people using ATVs, according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), are doing so for recreational purposes (36 percent), as opposed to less than 23 percent of people surveyed who reported that they used an ATV for work.

More than 53 percent of people surveyed nationally reported using the ATV on their own property, meaning that there is even less civil oversight. NLM notes that ATV use is very common “in a rural 4-H population.” Of this population, a large percentage of ATV users are teenage boys, who had little or no safety training and did not use safety equipment or helmets.

With that said, Illinois recently passed a law making it mandatory for ATV owners to register their recreational vehicles and to obtain a permit for use on state property. However, Illinois does not have a helmet law for ATV drivers.

If you were injured in an ATV accident in Illinois and it was not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Chicago ATV accident lawyer at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today.

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