An ATV crash in Columbia County Tuesday evening left a child and two adults suffering injuries.
The accident occurred around 7 p.m. Tuesday night at County Road 246 and County Road 131.
The ATV collision was investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol who said that three Lake City residents were riding on an ATV heading north on County Road 131. The driver of the all-terrain vehicle stopped at a stop sign before continuing through the intersection of County Road 246 when the ATV hit an SUV heading west. The crash caused the ATV to spin out and ultimately flip.
One of the ATV passengers, a 49-year-old man, suffered critical injuries. An 11-year-old girl was another passenger who was seriously injured. The driver of the ATV, a 29-year-old man, also suffered serious injuries, according to the FHP.
The FHP report did say that none of the ATV riders were wearing helmets.
The 52-year-old SUV driver suffered minor injuries, according to the FHP.
Florida Safety Laws on ATVs
Florida laws regarding ATVs state the following:
- ATVs can only be driven on unpaved roads during daylight hours where the posted speed limit is under 35 MPH.
- ATV operators that are under 16 years of age must be supervised by an adult and carry proof of their completion of a Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) safety course.
- Anyone driving or riding an ATV that is under the age of 16 must wear a safety helmet and eye protection that is approved by USDOT.
ATV Accident Statistics
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a report showing that between 1982 and 2017, children under the age of 16 accounted for more than 1 in five of the over 15,000 ATV accidents that resulted in death. The CPSC annual report for 2017 (the most recent data available) shows there were 15,250 total ATV accidents deaths reported from 1982-2017, and 3,315 of those deaths, or 21.7%, were minors under the age of 16. Another 1,450 of those deaths, or 9.5%, were under the age of 12. The total deaths in the state of Florida from ATV-related accidents between 1982-2017 were 616.
ATV Accident Injuries
While ATVs are certainly a fun time for those seeking a little outdoor adventure, the truth is that these vehicles can be dangerous. ATVs do not have seatbelts and can weigh between 500 and 600 pounds, which makes them hazardous to drivers and passengers. The most common injuries from ATVs are:
Head Injuries/Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
ATVs do not have a roof and are larger vehicles, which is why all riders are strongly encouraged to wear a helmet. Not wearing a helmet while riding on an ATV and being involved in a crash could lead to a concussion, regardless of how fast you were going.
Spinal Cord Trauma
Spinal cord injuries from ATV accidents account for around 7.9% of the total injuries reported. If the ATV you are operating or riding as a passenger on flips over and lands on top of you, the weight of 500-600 pounds can place a significant amount of pressure on your body.
Rollovers in ATV accidents are a huge risk, and when that much weight is placed on a person’s body, injuries to internal organs can happen. Being careful on an ATV and not taking unnecessary risks can stop rollovers from happening. It is very important to not speed on these vehicles, exercise caution when travelling downhill, ride on even ground, do not take corners too fast, and do not lean back when riding uphill.
Knee and Leg Injuries
Not all ATV accidents result in death or catastrophic injuries. Broken bones, scrapes, and burns are all common injuries in ATV accidents.
ATVs are large and heavy vehicles, as we have mentioned, so it is not uncommon for riders to fall during the course of an accident and suffer from a broken bone or fracture.
Contact Our Florida ATV Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton