ATV, which stands for “all-terrain vehicle,” is a blanket term that covers many off-road vehicles, whether recreational or service, and of various wheel-counts, whose low-pressure tires and advanced suspension systems let them easily navigate rough terrain. For those who operate these vehicles recreationally, speed is all part of the thrill. Pushing the craft to its limits, coupled with the ability to traverse backwoods and natural landscapes, is largely the appeal of owning and operating an ATV. However, this pursuit of speed and excitement led to a scare-inducing accident for a New Jersey man last Tuesday night, when he lost control of his vehicle. Frank Battiato, age 45, and his three young sons were thrown from an ATV as he went careening out of control. Mr. Battiato was cruising around the expanses of his private estate, Battiato Farms, at the time of the incident. Luckily, none of the children were seriously injured, as they were summarily dismissed from a local hospital after receiving light treatment. Mr. Battiato didn’t fare as well- he was listed as in critical condition. This accident proves that ATVs, while enjoyable, are no mere toys. They’re capable of inflicting grievous harm to their operators if proper safety protocol isn’t utilized. Following is a refresher course on precisely these safety protocols, which we at Kaplan Lawyers PC hope can be used to avoid future accidents.
New York State ATV Laws
In New York State, local county sheriffs are the policing agency responsible for enforcing all ATV laws. What follows is an impartial list of bylaws governing NY State ATV use. For a complete list, consult your local sheriff or seek a comprehensive list on-line.
- First things first, you’ve got to get registered. Much alike actual road vehicles, all ATVs must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles and have their licenses renewed annually.
- No one under the age of 10 is allowed to pilot or ride on an ATV.
- ATVs may not be used on highways, unless you are crossing the highway. Even then, you must cross at spots that are designated legal.
- Passenger limits must be strictly adhered to. Only ATVs designed to hold more than one person may be occupied by a passenger. Otherwise, it’s rider-only.
- A helmet must be worn at all times, by all riders, during ATV operation.
- When it’s dark, or approaching darkness, headlights and taillights must be switched on to increase visibility.
- It is illegal to operate an ATV under the influence of alcohol.
How To Stay Safe on An ATV
Learning about, and then following stringently, the rules listed above is a great way to improve your overall safety while riding an ATV. Here are some more safety tips that all responsible ATV owners and users should memorize in order to improve the general well-being of all those involved when ATVs are being enjoyed.
- So you’ve bought a new ATV, and you’re excited to get riding! Well, first things first. You should take a safety course. We guarantee that your fun will multiply exponentially if you learn how to properly handle your new vehicle.
- While you’re at it, you’ll want to pick up some protective gear. An ATV is an exciting buy standalone, and the safety equipment might seem less “fun” comparatively. But the first time you experience the rough-riding experience of an ATV, you’ll be glad that you purchased the gear that’ll keep you safe and injury-free.
- Stay alert! You may be more accustomed to roads, which are lined, cleanly demarcated, and governed by a system of signs and lights that alert all motorists as to the rules and regulations. Murky forests, snowy foothills and shallow riverbeds offer no such guidance. It’s up to you to keep your eyes open at all times, keeping on the constant lookout for obstructions and obstacles that’re lurking under-wheel, looking to unseat you from your new ride.
- Never ride during inclement weather. Sleet, snow, and rain decrease visibility, which will prevent you from seeing where you’re going. That’s asking for trouble. Better to stick to clear days.
- Always lean into the turn when turning, making as wide a turn as you possibly can. When approaching steep grades, shift your body weight accordingly, in preparation. Balance means everything when riding an ATV, so also be sure not to come to abrupt stops.
- Finally, try not to drive too fast- and never ride in a reckless or negligent manner.
Kaplan Lawyers PC
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we are here for you in your time of need. If you’ve been hurt in an accident of any kind, we want to help you. Sometimes, ATVs and other vehicles malfunction, and malfunctions can lead to accidents. If a factory malfunction has led to an injury, of you or a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation. You can use this compensation to pay your medical bills and provide for your family as you recover from your injuries. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we have a long and storied history of securing compensation for our clients. If you have any further questions, contact us today for a free consultation.