Just last month we reported on a teenager who lost his life after crashing into a tree on a friend’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV). This isn’t an isolated episode, as many teens and young adults are injured each year on these machines, and for a variety of reasons. These four- and three-wheeled gasoline-powered machines are certainly fun to ride, but their short wheelbase and narrow track can become an issue for some riders, depending on vehicle speed, road surface and weather conditions.
Naturally, as Maryland auto injury attorneys and personal injury lawyers, we would remind anyone wishing to ride such vehicles to be sure and wear the correct protective clothing and always, without exception, a good quality motorcycle helmet. Closed-head trauma is one of the most commonly seen injuries for those involved in motorcycle and ATV accidents. And you don’t have to encounter another vehicle to end up in the hospital; single-vehicle crashes occur with alarming frequency all across the nation.
While the makers of ATVs claim that their products have been designed and tested to be safe, the very nature of off-road riding adds a variable that can take even the most seasoned rider by surprise. Rocks, dips and drop-offs are not always easy to identify at the speeds that these machines can attain, making the dangers even more pronounced.
For years now, all-terrain vehicles have been making news as young and old riders alike continue to be injured or killed as a result of single- or multiple-vehicle wrecks. Understanding the injuries that can be caused by an out of control ATV, we know how quickly a fun outing can turn into a lifetime of pain and discomfort, if one is lucky enough to survive the initial crash.
In sad cases, such as the one that happened recently, a child can die from his or her injuries and never seen another birthday. The question every parent must ask themselves is whether the exhilaration and thrill offered by these vehicles is worth the potentially deadly consequences.
According to news reports, a 12-year-old honor roll student at Clear Spring Middle School in Washington County died as a result of his injuries on a Wednesday after doctors tried to save his life following an ATV crash a couple days earlier. The accident occurred while Gene Wiles was riding his family’s ATV on the driveway at his home.
For some reason the boy lost control of the cycle, which then overturned, seriously injuring him. The youngster was apparently rushed to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore to be treated for his injuries, but it was too much for the boy and hospital staff could not save him.
There was no specific cause given for the crash, although it’s likely that the Maryland State Police were investigating the accident at the time of the news article. In some cases, especially single-vehicle accidents, defective vehicle equipment can be one possible cause of a rider losing control. Although news reports did not state this, there is always a chance that defective equipment might lead to a products liability suit coupled with a wrongful death lawsuit.
One thing is certain; no amount of compensation can even bring back a dead child or restore a family to its original state prior to a tragedy such as this. The loss of a child is a heavy burden and our thoughts go out to the family of this young boy.
Boy hurt in ATV crash dies, Herald-Mail.com, June 15, 2011