It’s no secret that ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles, have been in the news for years as youngsters and adults alike have been injured or killed while riding these off-road vehicles. Although the manufacturers claim that their products are safe, the nature of riding off paved roads on a relatively fast, short-wheelbase vehicle can add up to disaster.
As Maryland personal injury lawyers who represent victims of motorcycle, automobile and commercial truck crashes, we are all too aware of the injuries that can be sustained during a traffic collision. Fortunately for those who ride in passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles, being enclosed in a relatively large and heavy motor vehicle can be a saving grace in the event of a bad traffic wreck.
On the other hand, motorcycles, three-wheelers and other ATV-type cycles offer their riders next to no protection. While obviously exhilarating, these vehicles provide a potentially dangerous combination of small size and high power-to-weight ratio, which translates to acceleration with little margin for error.
Just as a street bike, such as a Harley-Davidson or Honda Goldwing, must be ridden defensively and with caution on highways and city streets, so must an all-terrain vehicle be operated with the hazards of off-road riding clearly in mind. Many individuals have been seriously hurt or killed when the ATV they were riding on tipped over and rolled on top of the driver.
Sadly, another ATV accident took another young life a while back when a teenage boy who attended Aberdeen High School when the three-wheeled model he was driving reportedly crashed into a tree in Harford County, MD. According to authorities, Tyler Hickman of Perryman was found on a Wednesday evening at the bottom of a hill in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
A representative from the local sheriff’s department stated that the boy had apparently been riding the red Honda ATV at a family member’s home when the accident occurred sometime during the late afternoon or early evening. Police reports indicate that the teenager for some reason lost control of the ATV which then hit a pine tree on the relative’s property. Police said that the boy landed about 10 to 15 feet from the point of impact.
From reports, it appears that the victim struck his head on the tree with sufficient force to cause the boy to go into a seizure. Once officers arrived at the scene of the accident around 8pm, the boy was reportedly in a semi-conscious state and just able to give the police his name. The patrolmen observed that the teen had received a large laceration to the back of his head, and it did not appear that the boy had been wearing a helmet prior to the crash.
Officers attempted to get a police helicopter flight for the boy to Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore, but due to bad weather had to change their plan and take him by car to Harford Memorial Hospital. Sadly, doctors could do little for the boy and he was pronounced dead not long after 9pm.
16-Year-old Killed in ATV Accident, Patch.com, May 19, 2011