A 48-year-old man died in early October after his ATV crashed into a tree. The accident occurred in Prospect, Ohio, in a residential neighborhood. The crash is still under investigation, and is a sobering reminder that riders should follow state laws and take safety precautions whenever using an all-terrain vehicle.
Ohio ATV laws
Ohio has strict rules about when, where and how you can use an ATV, also known as an “all-purpose vehicle” (APV). First, if you plan to use your ATV on public roads or land, it must be registered. Drivers must have a valid driver’s license and be at least 16 years old. Children under 16 may only ride with a licensed adult on private property.
You may never ride your ATV on a freeway, highway or railroad tracks, but you may cross the road or tracks in the vehicle. Similarly, unless there’s a sign stating otherwise, ATVs are not permitted on any land or water controlled by the state.
Finally, ATVs cannot be used for capturing or hunting animals, nor may you transfer any loaded firearms or bows unless they are securely enclosed.
ATV safety tips
ATVs are a fun recreational tool, but it’s important to protect yourself. Every rider should wear a DOT-approved helmet, goggles, boots, gloves and long sleeves and pants. Avoid riding your ATV on paved roads, and never carry more passengers than the vehicle is designed to handle. If your ATV came with factory-installed seatbelts, use them every time.
Like driving an automobile, you should never drive an ATV while impaired by drugs, alcohol or fatigue. Avoid distractions, like texting and driving.
Size also matters. It’s important to choose an ATV that’s designed for someone of similar height and weight, especially if you’re allowing a minor to drive. ATVs produced for children have limited speed capabilities, and tend to be smaller.
Finally, consider taking an ATV safety course. Even if you’re an experienced driver, ATVs handle very differently from regular cars, trucks and vans. A safety course will teach you how to drive your ATV, prevent accidents and protect yourself if you run into obstacles.
Because ATVs offer less protection than traditional vehicles—and because they’re used on unpaved terrain—the potential for injury is much higher. Following the laws and safety tips above will help you avoid preventable accidents. If a defective ATV or negligent rider causes you injury, the Law Offices of Tim Misny are standing by to help.
Talk to an Ohio accident lawyer today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your ATV accident case. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 944-4373 so that I can evaluate your case right away.