ATV Accident Lawyer | Levin Papantonio - Personal Injury Lawyers

ATV Rollover Accidents

ATVs have become popular for work and recreation on many farms and ranches. Unfortunately, reported cases of serious injury and death from ATV accidents and rollovers have increased along with their increased use. Most of these ATV rollover injuries and deaths can be attributed to unstable design, too high center of gravity and/or operator error.

Make ATV safety a priority on your farm or ranch

  1. An ATV is not a toy.
  2. Children should not be permitted to operate ATVs without specialized training and then they should be allowed to only operate an ATV of an appropriate size.
  3. Contact the ATV Safety Institute to enroll in a course.
  4. ATVs with an engine size of 70cc to 90cc should be operated by people at least 12 years of age.
  5. ATVs with an engine size of greater than 90cc should only be operated by people at least 16 years of age.
  6. Wear appropriate riding gear: DOT-, Snell ANSI-approved helmet, goggles, gloves, over-the-ankle boots, long-sleeve shirt and long pants.
  7. Read owners manuals carefully.
  8. ATVs are not made for multiple riders. Never carry anyone else on the ATV.
  9. Any added attachments affect the stability, operating and braking of the ATV.
  10. Do not operate the ATV on streets, highways or paved roads.

Alarm About ATV Dangers Sounded

Newscom

September 21, 2006

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning about the dangers of all-terrain vehicles.

The number of four wheel ATVs in use in the United States has increased from just more than 2 million to more than 6.9 million in the past decade. From 1982 through 2004, there were nearly 6,500 deaths involving ATVs. In 2004, an estimated 136,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries -- many life-altering. In 2003, an estimated 740 people died nationwide in ATV incidents. About 30 percent of all deaths and injuries involve children younger than 16.

CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord said Thursday, ATVs are not toys, especially adult ATVs, which can travel at 60 miles per hour and weigh up to 800 pounds. Children should only ride youth model ATVs -- there have been too many children killed while driving or riding as a passenger on adult ATVs.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Safety Commission Wants Children Off Adult-Sized ATVs

By KOMO Staff & News Services

September 21, 2006 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Regulators want to reduce the number of children who are being hurt or killed because they are riding on adult-sized all-terrain vehicles. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says children accounted for 30 percent of the estimated 740 ATV deaths in 2003 in this country. The CPSC's Scott Wolfson says 90 percent of those deaths were because children were riding an adult-sized ATV. Wolfson says children 15 years old and younger should be on off-road vehicles that weigh 150 pounds with speeds of 15 miles per hour. An adult sized ATV can weigh up to 800 pounds and reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Among the CPSC's recommended safety steps for all riders: Never allow a child to operate or ride an adult-size ATV, always wear a helmet, never ride tandem on a one-person ATV, and never ride on paved roads. And, of course, no alcohol or drugs. The safety commission wants to make the current voluntary safety standards mandatory for the ATV industry. It also wants regulations that would ban three wheeled ATVs, and set up three youth size ATV categories. In Washington state ATVs must be licensed by the owner, but there is no age requirement for riders. The vehicles are not allowed on public roads.

ATV Injuries Double in 5-Year Period, Deaths Continue To Climb

June 3, 2003

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that 35 witnesses have registered to testify about all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety at the commission's regional public hearing to be held in Morgantown, W.Va., on June 5, 2003. Estimated ATV-related injuries in the U.S. have doubled in a recent 5-year period and deaths also continue to climb.

The 35 witnesses include medical doctors, injury prevention researchers, ATV dealers, ATV riders, consumer safety advocates, and families of victims from ATV-related crashes.

"The diversity of views is exactly what we want to hear at the ATV safety hearing," said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "We are concerned about the disproportionate increase in the number of deaths and injuries associated with ATV use in recent years, and we hope the hearing will help us understand the causes of these deaths and injuries."

ATV injuries requiring an emergency room visit increased by 104 percent from an estimated 54,700 in 1997 to 111,700 in 2001. In 2001, about a third of these victims were under 16 years old. In this same period the estimated number of ATV drivers increased 36 percent, driving hours grew 50 percent and the number of ATVs increased 40 percent, according to a recent commission analysis.

For 1999, the last year for which death records are substantially complete, the commission has reports of 357 people who died as a result of ATV use, up from 251 in 1998 and 241 in 1997.

All Terrain Vehicles – A Brief History

All terrain vehicles, or "ATVs" were first designed in the late 1960s by Honda. The first ATV was sold in the United States in 1971. This began an era of great popularity for the ATV. The first ATVs were designed in a three wheel tricycle-like configuration. Such design was the industry standard until the late 1980s.

Shortly after Honda's first ATV was released, other manufacturers introduced competing vehicles. These included products launched by Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki. The American market for ATVs was exploding; unfortunately, the increased popularity of the vehicles brought an alarming number of ATV accidents. This increase prompted the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to launch an investigation into the safety of ATVs. In 1986 the CPSC issued a report in which the agency determined that there were approximately 2.4 million ATVs in use throughout the United States. The CPSC estimates that from 1982 to 2002, 5,239 people died from injuries associated with ATV use.

Shortly after the CPSC report was issued, the United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit alleging that ATVs and their manufacturers violated the Consumer Product Safety Act. In 1987 the various ATV manufacturers agreed to discontinue producing three-wheeled ATVs. Experts have cited the three-wheel ATV design as one of the primary flaws of the original ATVs. Today's ATVs manufacturers utilize a four-wheel design that assists in stabilizing the vehicle.

Unfortunately, the 1987 agreement to halt production of the three-wheeled ATV did not require manufacturers to recall the over 2.4 million defective ATVs already sold throughout the country. Many of these extremely dangerous ATVs remain in use today.

A 2004 article published by the Wall Street Journal revealed alarming statistics regarding deaths and injuries linked to ATV use. According to the report, while sales of ATVs rose nearly 90 percent between 1997 and 2002, ATV-related deaths increased 67 percent during the same period. Over 110,000 riders were injured in 2002. Since 1992, children under the age of 16 have accounted for a third of ATV-related injuries. Over the last 12 years, children under 12 represent 14 percent of ATV deaths.

Unfortunately, there is little state regulation. Forty states do not require a driver's license to operate an ATV and over 30 allow 12-year-olds to drive the vehicles. In West Virginia, which averages 15 ATV deaths a year, legislation has failed to pass for the last seven years.

Boy Critically Injured On ATV

August 14, 2001

A weekend ATV accident left a Haines City, Florida boy in critical condition. Nine-year-old Frankie Mathis drove his all terrain vehicle into the back of a parked truck on Lakeview Drive. Five-year-old Christopher Mitchell, sitting on the back of the ATV, was wearing his helmet and only suffered slight injuries. Mathis was not wearing his helmet and was seriously injured when he was propelled through the air and onto the hood of the pickup truck.

Mathis is listed in critical condition at Orlando Regional Medical Center. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the ATV had no lights or reflectors and no adults were supervising the boys.

Teen Killed On ATV

May 2, 2001

A Miami teen died and his 27-year-old cousin was critically injured when their all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crashed into a wall of rocks and overturned. The two were riding on a four-wheel Yamaha Banshee. Police found the two riders around 8:00 a.m. Sunday sprawled along a five-foot high wall of jagged rocks. Rodriguez was dead at the scene, and an unconscious Gonzalez was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition. Neither rider wore a helmet. According to police the area is off-limits to ATVs and is posted with "No Trespassing" signs. Police also said that the Yamaha Banshee is only designed for a single rider. In addition, local law requires that all ATV drivers be at least 16 years of age.

Woman Injured on ATV Dies

June 21, 2001

A 25-year-old woman injured a week ago in an all-terrain vehicle accident died yesterday from her injuries. Lori Dixon was riding her 4-wheel ATV around her family's property when she ran into a wire fence, severely injuring her trachea. The week following the accident Dixon was in critical condition, and her father reported that she was on life support.

A 12-year-old boy was riding behind Dixon when she ran into the fence. He was not seriously injured. However, there is a dispute regarding whether the boy helped Ms. Dixon after the crash. The boy's relatives told authorities that he carried an injured Dixon part of the way back to the house in search of help. Dixon's family claims that her nine-year-old sister, who was near the accident, ran back to the family home to tell her mother about the accident. While she was on the phone with the emergency dispatcher, Dixon's mother told authorities that she saw Dixon walking back toward the house and told her to stop and sit down pursuant to the dispatcher's instructions.

Small Company At Fault in ATV Injury

Corey Rebne was rendered a quadriplegic for life by the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) he was operating on a U.S. Wildlife Refuge. Norbert Arnold, d/b/a Arnold Equipment Company, manufactured the vehicle (brand name "Otter"). Despite the company's knowledge of the likelihood and dangers of rollovers involving ATVs, and numerous reports of injuries and deaths involving rollovers of other "Otters", Norbert Arnold failed to install a rollover protection system (ROPS) on these vehicles. Because Norbert Arnold has less than 25 employees and annual sales of less than $5,000,000, it would be impossible to hold the company fully accountable for this tragedy.

An ATV quad accident can happen to anyone, anywhere. 

The number of quad rollovers continue to rise as people use the various types all terrain vehicles for work and pleasure. To keep the ATV fatality numbers down, ATV safety checklists should be used before riding an ATV four wheeler or three wheeler.  There is a number of ATV make and models: Bombardier ATV, Honda FourTrax, Odyssey, Raptor ATV, Artic Cat ATV, Polaris Ranger, Kawasaki ATV, Yamaha ATV, Rhino, Suzuki ATV and more. Please go through your ATV safety checklist to avoid problems or accidents.


  1. GBC News story: Rhino Trial Gwinnett, GA - December 16, 2009A man who was injured on the Yamaha Rhino Sport Utility Vehicle will be going to trial about it on January 19th in Gwinnett County. His case is the first of many to come to Gwinnett of people who were either killed or severely injured on the vehicle.
  2. Seeking justice for Eddie Orangeleader.com - Aug 22, 2009 The parents of Forest Eddie Ray,13, who died after the Yamaha Rhino ATV he was riding rolled over on top of him have been in court this week seeking justice..
  3. Restrictive ATV bill tabledAlbany Democrat Herald, OR - Apr 6, 2007This bill will addresses the real problems on public lands, but unfortunately, most of the accidents are on private property...
  4. ATVs and kids: A little fun? Delta Farm Press, NE - Apr 6, 2007And every year I see reports of kids killed or severely injured in ATV accidents. Just last week three people including a three-year-old girl died in ...
  5. Grieving Mother Warns Of ATV Danger After Son's Death WLOX, MS - Mar 30, 2007Instead, the ATV went airborne, throwing Christopher and his passenger. The ATV landed on top of Christopher. "It was instant," says Boyd of her son's death ...
  6. Man dies after Sunday ATV accident Sequoyah County Times, OK - Mar 29, 2007A 20-year-old Arkansas man died Sunday after an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident that occurred near Moffett. Justin K. Sisco of Prairie Grove, Ark., ...
  7. Off-roading fun turns fatal in sand dunes for Newcastle boy Seattle Times, WA - Mar 29, 2007Spencer Whitman, 10, was pronounced dead Sunday morning following an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident at the sand dunes near Beverly, Grant County. ...
  8. Two seriously injured in Wareham ATV accident SouthCoastToday.com, MA - Mar 26, 2007"A man and a woman on one ATV were on posted and gated property, so the ATV was trespassing," Ms. Capone said. "They crossed a cranberry dike, ...
  9. 14-year-old Longview boy killed in ATV crash
    Lufkin Daily News, TX - Mar 20, 2007Hicks had been riding behind a friend, who turned around and discovered the accident when he noticed (Hicks) was no longer on the trail, Dickerson said. ...
  10. ATV Accident Study Good Idea Wheeling News Register, WV - Mar 19, 2007 Last week he announced that he wants public safety officials to provide a report concerning the specific causes of ATV accidents and injuries and deaths ...
  11. ATV crash kills woman in Kiowa County KSWO, OK - Mar 19, 2007Investigators are still trying to figure out how the accident happened. They're waiting to notify the victim's next of kin before they release her identity. ...
  12. 2 children injured in ATV crash News-Leader.com, MO - Mar 19, 2007Two children suffered moderate injuries in an all-terrain vehicle accident that occurred at 1 pm Sunday on private property near Midvale Road, ...
  13. ATV bill again before solons
    Orangeburg Times Democrat, SC - Mar 17, 2007... first introduced the bill in the House in January 2004 following the death of 16-year-old Chandler Saylor of Swansea in an ATV accident in 2003. ...
  14. Lawmakers Hit Brakes on ATVs Wheeling Intelligencer, WV - Mar 1, 2007 We repeat our comment of last week: Shame on legislators for not acting to reduce the toll of deaths and injuries from ATV accidents!
  15. ATV rollover injures teen St. Augustine Record, FL - Feb 27, 2007A 17-year-old St. Augustine South boy injured in an ATV accident Sunday remains at Shands Jacksonville in critical condition. ...
  16. Students have faced a year of tragedy Salt Lake Tribune, UT - Feb 26, 2007Two other students also died in the past year: Ryan Stewart after an ATV accident and Savannah Staley at home. When someone dies, sometimes people feel ...
  17. ATV accident claims life of child The Times and Democrat, SC - Feb 26, 2007Porth said Ayers, of 3756 Homestead Road, Bowman, was riding on the back of the ATV driven by her 13-year-old brother when they got to close to a 13-foot ...
  18. Aledo student dies in ATV wreck, police say Fort Worth Star Telegram, TX - Feb 26, 2007ALEDO -- A 17-year-old Aledo High School student died early Sunday and another teenager was injured after being in an all terrain vehicle accident, ...
  19. ATV safety bill approved MU The Parthenon, WV - Feb 22, 2007ATV safety awareness Coordinator Mark Holmes said plans are to use the State Police accident form for all ATV wrecks, and the state doesn't compile ...
  20. Teen Killed In ATV Accident In Rockcastle County WTVQ, KY - Feb 22, 2007... of Mount Vernon had been riding an ATV on the roadway when he fell off and struck his head. Kirby was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. ...
  21. Senate to take up ATV bills Charleston Gazette, WV - Feb 15, 2007Lawmakers devoted several months of study to the issue last year after agreeing that the 2004 ATV safety law had not curbed the number of deaths related to ...
  22. Children may lose ATV power Statesman Journal, OR - Feb 14, 2007"Can you push a 600-pound ATV off of your kid? I don't know how supervision could protect your child from a rollover," Greene said. ...
  23. Children may lose ATV power Statesman Journal, OR - Feb 14, 2007She said her two children have ridden accident-free for four years. She also said her 8- and 9-year-old sons have outgrown their smaller ATVs, and that they ...
  24. ATV accident hurts 2 Kennebec Journal, ME - Feb 11, 2007The accident occurred around 4:15 pm on Firlotte Lane. Game Warden Daniel Murray said Kevin Lindman was operating the ATV and Lane Burnham, 11, ...
  25. Calif. search and rescue team founder dies FireRescue1, CA - Feb 9, 2007Friday, November 24, 47 year old volunteer Joe Burton was killed in an ATV (all terrain vehicle) accident on Trout Creek Rd. south of Long Barn.
  26. ATV safety legislation introduced in House Daily Mail - Charleston, WV - Feb 8, 2007...incident form that describes all known ATV accidents and orders the Division of Highways to include the forms in its annual traffic accident analysis. ...
  27. Parsons Sun Parsons Sun, KS - Feb 7, 2007A Parsons man, left paralyzed after an autumn ATV accident, has had plenty of company since he returned home from a three-month hospital stay in Colorado. ...
  28. Goodyear man dies in ATV accident AZ Central.com, AZ - Feb 7, 2007 A Goodyear man was killed after he apparently lost control of his all-terrain vehicle while riding in the Bloody Basin area of Yavapai County, ...
  29. Boy, 9, unscathed after fiery ATV crash; adult supervisor faces charges SalemNews.com, MA - Feb 6, 2007... Middleton, the driver of the Chevrolet Ventura that apparently struck the ATV. He was heading toward North Reading at the time of the accident. ...
  30. Teen accident victim loses fight for life
    KVIA, TX - Feb 6, 2007Sunshine Coast Daily, Australia - Feb 6, 2007 The Ipswich teen and her family were visiting relatives on a property in the Obi Obi ranges when she was thrown from the ATV she was driving and struck a ...
  31. Man Killed In ATV Accident In Skagit County
    Mount Vernon, Wash. - Feb 4, 2007MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- Skagit county medics reported that a man was killed in an all terrain vehicle accident Saturday near Lake Cavanaugh. ...
  32. Keystone man dies in weekend ATV accident Bradford County Telegraph, FL - Feb 1, 2007He added that emergency personnel could not be sure, but thought the ATV rider had suffered a broken neck and a possible broken femur. ...
  33. Resident seriously injured in ATV accident The Community Journal, MA - Feb 1, 2007Ashburnham resident Harry Clermont, 66, was injured in snowmobiling accident on Sunday, Jan. 28 near Stodge Meadow Pond. Ashburnham and Ashby police ...
  34. ATV accident injures man with no helmet KVIA, TX - Jan 31, 2007Emergency crews tell ABC-7 Manuel Ramirez was not wearing a helmet while riding the ATV around 5 o'clock Sunday evening on Snoqualime, just off of Montana. ...
  35. Williamson Co. Teen Killed In ATV Accident WKRN, TN - Jan 29, 2007According to investigators, he was thrown from the vehicle after he lost control and hit a ditch. The teen was wearing a helmet, but ATV's are not legally ...
  36. Son of country songwriter Steele dies in ATV accident The Tennessean, TN - Jan 29, 2007Alex Levasseur of Franklin was driving south on Lavender Road in Franklin around 3 pm Sunday when he lost control of a 2006 Honda TRX500FA ATV while trying ...
  37. Man Seriously Injured In ATV Accident
    KFOXtv.com,TX - Jan 28, 2007January 28, 2007 -- At around 5 pm Sunday afternoon in an off-roading area in Montana Vista, a man flipped his ATV. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office said ...
  38. 13-year-old Williamson County teen killed in ATV accident The Tennessean, TN - Jan 28, 2007Lavassdur was thrown from the vehicle as the ATV careened into a ditch. He was flown by emergency helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, ...
  39. ATV accident leaves Lucedale woman dead Hattiesburg American, MS - Jan 28, 2007Howell and Roy D. Dean Jr., 20, also of Lucedale, were riding an ATV along the road's edge when another ATV hit them from behind. Howell was thrown into the ...
  40. 01-19-07: Deadly Inaction on ATV Safety Many say actions should be taken to prevent the increase of ATV accidents in young children, starting with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; which has passed up multiple opportunities over the past 20 years. ATV safety such as adding seatbelts, age restriction for ATV riders and rollover bars added to ATVs should be addressed.
  41. 01-19-07: Woman killed in Lehigh ATV accident A Connecticut woman was killed when the quad ATV she was operating flipped over. Kristen Lee Matiglia lost control of the Polaris quad and fell off the vehicle when the ATV overturned and struck her.
  42. 01-19-07: Our view: Teen, EMS veteran are role models Seventeen-year-old Tyler Myers is credited with saving a life when he came upon the scene of an ATV accident. Myers spotted a dog standing beside an overturned all-terrain vehicle where thirteen-year-old Curtis Baugh was trapped.
  43. 01-08-07: Toddler killed in ATV rollover An ATV accident investigation is underway after an ATV overturned, killing a boy. The ATVs front wheels turned after the mother stopped the vehicle using the remote cut-off switch, causing the quad rollover.
  44. 01-06-07: Neenah man injured in ATV accident Four-wheeler rolled over and landed on top of a man, temporarily knocking him unconscious. The Wisconsin man lost control of the ATV in the mud causing the ATV rollover.
  45. 01-04-07: ATV Rollover Injures One
    Man was injured after an ATV rollover. The borrowed Suzuki ATV tipped over on top of him while he was riding up an embankment.  Name of man and extent of injury was not yet released.
  46. 12-31-07: One Dead In Indiana County ATV Accident
    37-year-old Robert Lenhart of Buffington Township died after authorities say his ATV overturned. Lenhart attempted to climb an embankment with his ATV when the quad rolled over
  47. 11-20-06: 52 ATV deaths and still counting ATV deaths are up from 40 in 2005 to 52 currently. Hoping to enforce ATV safety and see a decline in ATV rollovers, fatality crashes and injuries, the State Police reform package will be a topic of conversation in early 2007.
  48. 11-15-06: Family: Victim saved kids' lives 54 year old Dana Pope died after his Polaris ATV overturned pinning him underneath it. Pope took many quad safety precautions before setting out with his two grandchildern. The reason for this rollover crash is not known.
  49. 10-27-06: Woman dies in ATV rollover accident 50 year old Peggy Robinson was killed Wednesday in an ATV rollover accident in Star Valley. Payson Police Department Commander Don Engler reported she may have accelerated to free the ATV from rocks when the front end lifted and the quad rolled over on top of her.
  50. 10-27-06: Man killed in ATV rollover in Box Elder Sheriff's Chief Deputy Lynn Yates reported an 18 year old man was killed after his ATV overturned, landing on top of him. The cause of the ATV rollover accident is unknown at this time.
  51. 10-13-06: Hunter Killed In ATV Rollover In Duchesne County 31-year-old Dirk Robert Gilmore was found dead after an ATV rollover accident.  Gilmore was driving on uneven road when his ATV rolled over; he was pinned under the machine.
  52. 08-03-06: Hazards Associated with All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) in the Workplace All-terrain vehicles are used in workplaces such as law enforcement, farming, construction, oil production and more. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a report in the fall of 2005 indicating that ATV related fatalities moved from 29 in 1982 to 470 in 2004.