A 21-year-old Eustis man died a few days after a devastating crash that occurred when he drove his all-terrain vehicle into the path of an oncoming truck. His mother, a 43-year-old Florida resident, was also aboard the ATV and was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses report that the ATV was heading west on the shoulder of CR 44-A when the young man attempted to cross the street. He steered directly into the path of the truck, which was heading east, and the truck’s driver was unable to stop in time.
Although ATVs can be fun to ride, there are also certain hazards that come with them. There are a number of precautions riders should take to maximize their enjoyment and adhere to best safety practices.
To start, ATV riders should receive formal training before operating one of these vehicles. They should also wear helmets and other necessary safety gear. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, many ATV injuries occur to the head and brain, so riders are advised to wear Department of Transportation-approved helmets. This, along with over-the-ankle boots, gloves, goggles, pants and long-sleeved shirts help protect ATV riders.
Additionally, it’s important to understand that most ATVs are built to accommodate only one person. The presence of a passenger, such as in the Eustis crash, can make it difficult to properly steer and observe all road hazards. Riders should never invite a passenger aboard their ATV unless it is designed to accommodate more than one person.
Operating an ATV is really no different than using any other heavy machinery and should never be done under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Impairment slows reaction times and affects judgment, creating much greater risks and the potential for accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV or other motor vehicle accident, you may need to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. Speak with a skilled Lake County accident lawyer as soon as possible.