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West VA has second highest ATV-related death rate

ATV accidents often lead to serious, and sometimes lasting, consequences.

It was recently reported that West Virginia has the second highest death rate related to ATV use in the country; a few years ago West Virginia lead the nation in ATV-related deaths. The number of ATV injuries and deaths has gone down but is still considered too high overall. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that there are 700 deaths and 100,000 injuries related to ATV use each year. Although the number of deaths has declined, ATV accidents remain a concern. While some attribute the decrease to a simple decline in ATV sales as a result of the recession, others point to the industry's agreement to no longer make 3-wheeled vehicles in favor of the more stable 4-wheel vehicles and that retailers are required to offer training with the purchase of an ATV, though purchasers do not have to take the training. The Commission is currently pushing for a ban on adult ATV use by those under 16 and a mandatory training requirement. Local officials pointed out ATV's multiple uses in work and fun. Seemingly common sense riding tips were offered including wearing a helmet and protective clothing, riding on safe terrain and not consuming alcohol while riding.

ATVs are commonly used throughout the U.S. for both work and play. Their use can, however, lead to serious accidents that result in death and serious injuries such as head, brain, back and spinal cord injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has made an estimate that 150,000 people went to the emergency room for ATV-related accident injuries in recent years. Also in recent years, ATV crashes accounted for between 750 and 950 deaths in the U.S.

Due to the nature of ATV injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, medical expenses and future on-going medical care can sometimes be costly for victims. Because of this, victims and their families may seek compensation for ATV injuries against manufacturers or sellers of ATVs or a negligent driver or party that is liable for the injuries the victim suffered. There are both state and federal laws that govern ATV safety that manufacturers and sellers must observe. In addition, families of a lost love one may wish to pursue a wrongful death claim in some circumstances following the death of a loved one in an ATV accident.

ATV injuries can be catastrophic or even lead to death. The losses the victims suffer, as well as potential long-term care, may cause victims to seek compensation for injuries and damages.

Source:, "ATV Deaths Decrease But Still Too Many," Erin MacPherson, Mar. 4, 2013.

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