Lawmaker’s in the North Carolina Senate debated passing a law, which some officials say, will lead to more serious accidents. The law would exempt adults from mandatory helmet requirements and eye protection when riding ATV’s on private property.
Almost six years ago the law was passed that made helmets and eye protection mandatory for ATV riders. Some Senate officials commented that the passing of the 2005 law interfered with an individual’s freedom, and was too much government intrusion telling people how to live their lives.
A study shows that about 4.5 thousand riders of ATV’s are injured every year in the United States. An earlier study found that in five years (between 2000 and 2005), there was almost a 50 percent increase in ATV related injuries and a 60 percent fatality increase.
In a four year period between 2004 and 2008, there were more than 700 thousand people injured riding ATV’s and well over three thousand killed. Of those killed 25 percent were children, under 16 years old. More than 7 percent involved spinal injuries and amputations. Many times, alcohol is a factor in the accidents.
ATV insurance protects you and your ATV. Bodily injury liability covers injuries to others that you would be liable for in an accident. Collision protects any property damage that might occur if you have an accident. You can also get comprehensive, underinsured and medical coverage, just like for a vehicle. Your driving record, type and size of ATV are examples of factors that will affect your rates.
Several states require riders to have ATV insurance and have helmet laws and other age guidelines. Many states still have no regulation on ATV riders and no guidelines for age restrictions. With the increasing inflation of medical care and the mass amount of lawsuits going on, insurance should be the first thing you add after purchasing your ATV.
There is an estimated 9 million ATV’s being used now. New riders who are inexperienced have 13 times a higher risk of injury during the first month of riding, compared to an experienced rider over the same time period.