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All-Terrain Vehicles, All-Terrain Risk

Posted On 10/28/15

Widely used for off-road touring and riding, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), or “quads,” deliver sometimes-exhilarating and often-dangerous rides. Because the vehicles are meant to be driven on uneven terrain, they do pose risks, especially when they lack basic safety features such as rollbars and side doors and safety harnesses.

In June 2013, Nadiya Zaverbna, a 33-year-old New Jersey native, was enjoying the Sedona, Arizona scenery on a rented quad with her fiancée. During the ride, Ms. Zaverbna lost control of her ATV and was thrown from it. Ms. Zaverbna landed on her head and died at the scene.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), ATV accidents contribute to the injury of 135,000 people and cause the death of about 800 victims each year. Because these vehicles are inherently dangerous, riders must attend to safety details when riding quads, including the following:

  • Match the size of quad with the rider’s size and skill.
  • Always wear protective gear, including helmet, goggles, boots and gloves.
  • Never ride on paved roads — ever.
  • Take a training course or receive basic instruction before riding.
  • Never ride an ATV while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Do not ride tandem on an ATV not intended for a passenger.

In July of this year, Yamaha recalled its 2012 Yamaha Big Bear 400 all-terrain vehicle because the front shock absorber could break, causing the rider to lose control of the vehicle and crash.

If you’re planning to ride or buy an ATV, know your skill level and understand the equipment. If you are injured on a quad due to the negligence of others or because of defective equipment, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in Phoenix.