According to the Utah Department of Health, during the summer months of May through August, more Utah children and young adults are hospitalized for ATV injures that were hospitalized for all other forms of intentional injuries (assault, gunshot, stabbing etc.) combined.
As Easter Sunday approaches, we look forward to getting together with friends and family to relish the Spring weather and to take a much needed break from the pressures of school and work. Due to the beautiful and diverse landscape of Utah, the use of all-terrain-vehicles (ATV) and off-highway-vehicles (OHV) is quite popular for Utah residents and tourists. Remember that this high adrenaline sport can be dangerous; however, there are precautions to take that can keep you and your loved ones protected. The skilled Utah personal injury attorneys of the Christensen Law Firm wish you a fun and safe holiday!
Case Study: Teen Injured in ATV Accident
In September 2008, Morgan Olsen was a passenger riding on the back of an ATV when she sustained major injuries after being involved in a Utah ATV accident. Because she was not wearing a helmet, Morgan sustained severe traumatic brain trauma. After being in a coma for a month, Morgan Olsen woke up to find that most of the motor skills controlled by the right side of her brain were obsolete. Over the past two years, Morgan Olsen has been participating in rehabilitation where she is basically relearning all the daily activities we take for granted such as: how to talk, eat, blink, walk and more. Megan currently advocates helmet use for all ATV riders and their passengers.
Did You Know You Can Prevent Traumatic Brain Injuries?
In an interview with KSL News, Christine Lutz, a nurse practitioner who works with Morgan Olsen at Heath South Rehabilitation Center, told KSL news reporters that her facility treats many young people who wouldn’t need rehab if they had worn a helmet when riding their ATV, bicycle or motorcycle. “We think we’re invincible when are young but we are not. Chronic disabilities are in their future and they will struggle [with the disabilities] for the rest of their lives. I really do believe if [Megan Olsen] had a helmet on she would not be in this condition.”
Only 29% of injured persons under the age of 18 were wearing helmets when they were involved in a Utah ATV/OHV accident- Utah Department of Health
What You Should Know about Utah State Laws
Utah OHV Helmet Laws (41-22-10.8)
Protective headgear requirements - Owner duty - Penalty for violation
1. A person under the age of 18 may not operate or ride on all-terrain type I vehicles, snowmobiles, or motorcycles on public land unless the person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened, United States Department of Transportation safety-rated protective headgear designed for motorized vehicle use.
2. The owner of an off-highway vehicle or any other person may not give permission to a person who is under 18 years of age to operate or ride on an off-highway vehicle in violation of this section.
3. An operator and passengers of off-highway implements of husbandry operated in the manner prescribed by Subsections 41-22-5.5(3) and (4) are exempt from the requirements of this section.
4. Any person convicted of violations of this section is guilty of an infraction and shall be fined not more than $50 per offense.
If you have been injured in an ATV accident that you feel was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another, we urge you to contact a skilled Utah personal injury attorney. The attorneys at the Christensen Law Firm can help you through this difficult process. Call us to schedule a FREE no obligation consultation with one of our skilled attorneys to discuss your specific legal rights.