Most people think of riding four-wheelers as relatively harmless fun. In fact, the all-terrain vehicles are seen as safe enough that children can ride them. The problem is that ATVs are still motorized vehicles and can cause serious harm given the right circumstances. This is doubly true when the ATVs are allowed out on public roadways where they can encounter much larger and faster passenger vehicles.
Police in Fulton, MS say they are investigating a case where an 11-year-old boy died while out for a ride on his four-wheeler. Police say that details are still sketchy, but it appears that he was on his ATV on Van Buren Road in the mid-afternoon when he was hit by a car. The driver of the automobile was also injured in the accident and taken to a hospital for treatment.
So far no charges have been filed against the driver of the vehicle. Police say they that the Mississippi Highway Patrol will investigate the accident and what may have led to the deadly crash. They will even bring in accident reconstructionists to help recreate the crash scene.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has recently issued a report about these kinds of accidents involving ATVs, warning that as ATVs become more powerful and state and local laws are relaxed in terms of allowing ATVs on roadways, it can be a recipe for disaster. More and more states and municipalities have begun passing regulations that allow ATVs on public roads, something safety experts vehemently oppose.
ATVs lack tires for driving on roads, don’t have turn signals or lighting or any of the many other safety features required of vehicles driven on public roads. Despite this, ATVs are increasingly being allowed to mix with passenger vehicles. The Consumer Federation of America says that some 35 states allow ATVs on designated roads and 22 states have in the past 10 years enacted laws expanding the use of ATVs on public roads.
The consequences can often be fatal and the problem, according to researchers, appears to be getting worse. An analysis of CPSC data conducted by Scripps News found that there were 1,243 fatal crashes involving ATVs on public roads between 2009 and 2013. This is compared to 999 fatal off-road ATV crashes over the same period of time.
If you have been injured in a Mississippi car, motorcycle or tractor-trailer accident and think you may have a personal injury claim, please contact the Mississippi personal injury attorneys at Kobs & Philley at (601) 856-7800.