All-Terrain Vehicles are very popular in rural parts of Georgia. Sadly, few of the people who ride them are aware of the hidden dangers of ATVs in Georgia.

In May, the small community of Cairo in Georgia mourned the death of 19-year-old Erica Atkinson as a loss for the entire community.

A report on WCTV noted the teen lost control of the ATV she was driving. The authorities said the ATV crash happened just before midnight near Old Highway 84 in Boston, Georgia.

Investigators told WCTV they believed alcohol was a factor in the wreck that devastated a close knit community. Four people were reported to be on the ATV at the time of the wreck. Two others were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

ATVs in Georgia pose a danger

It was the second deadly ATV crash in two months in South Georgia. Authorities warned more people ride ATVs as the weather warms up. Often they are unaware of how dangerous these vehicles can be.

Lt. Tim Watkins of Thomas Co Sheriff’s Office told WCTV:

“These are more car like type vehicles, and people don’t wear their safety equipment like they would in a regular four-wheeler. They take it for granted, because there is some type of roll cage and some type of protection there,”

All-Terrain Vehicles may be more deadly than we believe. Although they are called All-Terrain Vehicles, some off-road locations are very challenging and it’s important to drive them carefully and to take safety precautions.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, ATV accidents injure as many as 135,000 people every year and kill about 700 in the United States.

Worryingly, they are often driven by teens and even children. About a third of those who die in ATV crashes are under the age of 16.
In many cases, riders ignored safety advice that may have saved their lives. Some tips for safe All-Terrain Vehicle driving are published by the ATV Institute. They include:

Always wear a Department of Transportation compliant helmet and goggles. Ride in long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and wear gloves.

Don’t ride an ATV on a paved road except where permitted by law at places like crossings. ATVs are off road vehicles

Never ride an ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Don’t carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV. No more than one passenger should be riding on an ATV specifically designed for two people.

Ride on an age-appropriate ATV and supervise people under 16.

Only ride on designated trails and at a safe speed.

Find out more about personal injury claims here and contact our Newnan attorney at (404) 913-1529.