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New Study Highlights ATV Injury Risks on Paved or Unpaved Roads

A new study suggests that all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have no place on California roadways, even if they are unpaved. It found that riding on any type of roadway was significantly more dangerous than riding off the road.

The study examined U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) fatality data from ATV crashes from 1982 through 2012. It found that over half of all ATV-related deaths take place on roadways. In addition, non-fatal roadway crashes result in more serious injuries than those off the road.

Of all roadway ATV deaths during the study period, 42 percent occurred on unpaved surfaces. In addition, more than half of the ATV roadway deaths in 23 states took place on unpaved road surfaces.

According to the researchers, the results are particularly concerning because “a number of jurisdictions have passed or have considered legislation allowing ATVs on public roadways, sometimes limiting them to those unpaved, arguing that they are safe for ATVs.” However, the crash statistics confirm that ATVs are not designed to be used on roadways.

“The narrow track, relatively high center of gravity, lack of rear differential on most models of ATVs, and tires designed specifically for off-road use all contribute to extremely complex rider-ATV-roadway surface dynamics,” study co-author, Dr. Charles Jennissen, stated, “and these dynamics appear to significantly increase the risk of ATV crashes and resulting injuries on both paved and unpaved roads.”

The study authors are calling on ATV manufacturers to alter their safety warnings in light of their findings and explicitly state the dangers of roadway riding regardless of the road surface type.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego ATV accident, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.