October can be a beautiful time of year in South Carolina due to the fall foliage. However, between the abundant leaves falling off the trees and the increased rain this can lead to slippery roads that can cause ATV accidents. After two children were injured in two separate ATV accidents, public safety officials are calling for parents to ensure that their children are wearing helmets when riding an ATV. Even if a child is going slowly, they can still suffer severe injuries if something goes wrong. Although the risk of a serious ATV accident increases if a person is not wearing proper protection or slips on wet leaves, these accidents can also be caused by malfunctioning ATVs.
ATV stands for an all-terrain vehicle, which is generally used for off-road travel. A person driving an ATV relies on handlebars for steering and the vehicle consists of three or more wheels. Due to the number of ATV accidents, the South Carolina legislature passed Chandler’s Law to provide requirements and regulations for people who are operating ATVs. For instance, a person cannot operate an ATV a half hour before sunrise or after sunset, unless the person uses headlights.
The law outlines guidelines that parents must follow if they allow their children to operate an ATV. A child six years of age or younger is not allowed to use an ATV at all. Those who are 15 or younger must wear a helmet and eye protection. In addition, they must complete a “hands-on” ATV safety course. Even if a child takes the course, he or she cannot operate an ATV unless accompanied by an adult.
In addition to safety precautions that riders must take, the ATV must also be in good operating condition. This means that the ATV must have a USDA Forest Service-approved spark arrester, brake system, and an effective muffler system. If a person is injured because a company fails to take these precautions, then they may be entitled to damages.
There are numerous safety precautions that a person can take to ensure that they protect themselves. South Carolina does not require a person 16 years or older to wear a helmet. Some suggest that this is an area where the legislature should step and modify the law. However, a person older than 15 can always take the initiative and wear a helmet. In addition to helmet usage, public safety officials also suggest wearing padding when operating an ATV. This padding could inevitably save a person from a broken bone or a brain injury. The harsh reality of ATV usage is that sometimes these precautions may not be enough.
Solomon Law Group Can Help
ATV accidents can be fatal even when a person takes the proper safety precautions. If you or a loved one has recently been injured or killed by an ATV accident, you may be entitled to damages. The Solomon Law Group has experience preparing wrongful death and personal injury cases against ATV companies whose vehicles caused fatal accidents. From compiling the necessary evidence to listening wholeheartedly to your tragic story, we will be by your side every step of the way. Contact our firm at 803-219-8870 today to schedule your free consultation and begin taking the steps to right this tragic wrong.