Connecticut has seen its fair share of ATV accidents in the last few months. Two Connecticut teens were seriously injured and another killed in two separate July accidents. None of the teens was wearing a helmet or protective padding at the time of the ATV crashes.

ATVs continue to rise in popularity, and as they do, more and more people put themselves at risk. In fact, the number of fatal ATV accidents involving children has increased by a whopping 88 percent in the last decade.

According to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, riding an ATV is even more dangerous than playing football, a sport that many parents equate with the word “dangerous.”

Safety tips: ATVs

So what can you do to prevent an ATV accident and injuries? First and foremost, wear protective gear. This includes a helmet, goggles, long-sleeved clothing and gloves. In order to avoid accidents with other vehicles, ride on trails, not paved roads. Stay off the highways unless you need to cross them and only then do so carefully. Make sure your ATV can carry the number of people you have on it and that it is big enough (or small enough) for your age and body type.

One of the main causes of ATV accidents is DUI / driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Just like other motorized vehicles, driving an ATV under the influence is illegal and very dangerous. Do not drive if you have had too much to drink.

If you are injured

More than two million people have gone to the ER after an ATV accident in the last three decades. If you or a loved one is part of this statistic, you may be able to recover compensation from a negligent driver or your own insurance company through a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: Ridgefield Patch, “Teen ATV Accidents Involving Serious Injury and Death,” Opinion, Richard Hastings, Aug. 17, 2012.

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