If you just check out the Indiana website on All-Terrain Vehicles, they don’t seem so scary: according to the site’s statistics, 179 people died over a 26 year time span. That doesn’t seem very high, considering that ATVs ramble over rough terrain in wilderness areas.
Except the site itself admits that data collection for 2006-2008 is incomplete….
And that as spring arrives in our area, news reports reveal that two people have already died in ATV accidents, within 14 days of each other in April 2010.
Jared Douglas,12, Dies in ATV Wreck on 1st Saturday in April
On April 3, 2010, twelve-year-old Jared Douglas died when an ATV he was riding apparently flipped on him in a ravine at the Haspin Acres Off-Road and Motocross Park in Laurel. He was on a camping trip with his family, and had taken the ATV to go and collect firewood for the family campfire. Indiana Conservation Officers and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department are investigating.
Abigail Hamilton, 23, Dies the Next Saturday From ATV Accident
On April 10, 2010, Abigail Jo Ann Hamilton, 23 years old, was killed when the ATV she was riding as Joshua Croy was driving hit a log as they drove into a swampy area. Witnesses saw the ATV fly up into the air, flipping at least once.
Muncie resident Abigail Hamilton died while riding an ATV on private property located near Indiana 120, just south of Orland. She was thrown from the ATV when it hit a log and pronounced dead shortly afterward, at the hospital.
What are the Real Numbers for ATV Fatalities in Indiana?
The weather is warming, and Spring is inviting all of us to get outside with our families and enjoy the changing of the seasons. Just like Jason and Abigail, we’ll be with loved ones having fun in the outdoors.
Families with ATVs will be allowing their teens to ride All Terrain Vehicles, thinking that it’s safe enough — they are driving on roadways, they aren’t driving at excessive speeds, they aren’t driving in traffic.
But we have to wonder — if you read the newspaper, then can you believe the government statistics (especially when they even admit that their numbers are not complete)?
How dangerous are these All-Terrain Vehicles for your family?
Personal injury attorneys can be challenged by family members as being party-poopers, all doom and gloom and spoiling everyone’s good time. That isn’t always wrong, we can get pretty caught up in our work where we deal with serious injuries, wrongful death, and tragedy.
Still, two ATV deaths on the first two Saturdays in April gives us pause.
If you or your family plan on riding around on an All Terrain Vehicle, please be careful. These things are dangerous, and people going out for weekend fun are dying from them.