Diamond & Diamond™
BRITISH COLUMBIA OFFICES

Vancouver Head Office

1727 West Broadway, Suite 400

Surrey Consultation Office

7404 King George Blvd. Suite 200

Burnaby Consultation Oflice

4720 Kingsway Suite 2600

Kelowna Consultation Office

1631 Dickson Avenue Suite 1100

Richmond Consultation Office

5811 Cooney Road Suite 305 South Tower

ONTARIO OFFICES

Toronto Head Office

255 Consumers Road, 5th Floor

Thunder Bay Consultation Office

278 Algoma Street South

Windsor Main Office

13158 Tecumseh Rd. E. Unit 38

Barrie Main Office

299 Lakeshore Drive. Suite 200

Mississauga Consultation Office

2233 Argentia Rd. Suite 302, East Tower

Ottawa Main Office

1081 Carling Avenue, Suite 704

Peterborough Consultation Office

459 George Street North

Orangeville Consultation Office

PO Box 157

Toronto Main Office

5075 Yonge Street. Suite 805

IMG

All-Terrain Vehicle Safety

Whether it’s to ski at Whistler and Blackcomb, fish for salmon and halibut or golf among panoramic mountain vistas, British Columbia is among the world’s most popular destinations for active vacationers, regardless of the season.  

Among the more popular pursuits in non-winter months is back country exploration on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). While designs and specifications vary, ATVs sport low-pressure tires and handlebar steering. As their name suggests, ATVs are designed to be ridden in terrain inaccessible to most other types of motorized vehicles.  

The ATV traces its lineage to six-wheeled amphibious vehicles such as the Canadian-born Jiger and the American Amphicat,  which were first commercially produced in the 1960s. However, most ATV enthusiasts consider the Honda AT (All Terrain) 90, which first appeared in the 1970s, to be the first “true” ATV. Despite its popularity, however, the number of injuries and deaths attributed to the instability of the AT90’s three wheel “trike” design resulted in its giving way to today’s more stable four wheel (or “quad”) configuration.           

While this was a significant design improvement, it has not eliminated the hazards associated with ATV riding. ATV accidents cause nearly 10% of all outdoor sports-related injuries in Canada each year, trailing only to cycling and skiing/snowboarding. 10-19 year-olds account for the largest share of these injuries. According to the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, in 2010 the total cost of accidents involving an ATV or its cold-weather relative the snow machine was C$50 million. ATV accident hospitalizations for all ages rose by 57% between 1996 and 2004, with more than a third involving individuals 19 years old or younger.

According to the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS),  the principal causes of ATV injuries among youthful riders are these riders’ undeveloped strength and motor skills, riding with a passenger on an ATV designed for a single rider (which destabilizes the vehicle) and a widespread disdain for protective equipment, especially helmets.

Despite industry and public efforts to promote safe behaviours and warn of the risks, the rate of ATV-related injuries and fatalities among youth continue to rise. The CPS has therefore adopted the following recommendations for reducing ATV injuries in both youth and adults:

  • Children younger than 16 years of age should not operate an ATV under any circumstances. There is a lack of evidence that smaller “youth” model ATVs are substantially safer than their full-size counterparts
  • Operators age 16 and over should always wear an approved helmet, suitable eye protection, and protective clothing and footwear
  • Operators of ATVs designed for solo riders should never carry passengers
  • As with any other vehicle, individuals should never operate an ATV while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Operators should complete an approved safety course that covers both theoretical and    practical aspects of safe riding and includes a mandatory course-end test. The effectiveness of       each such course should then be evaluated by tracking the rate of accidents among those who             successfully complete it.

Trusted Help After an ATV Accident

If you or a family member hurt in an ATV accident, call Diamond and Diamond. Our team of lawyers have vast experience handling personal injury as a result of ATV accidents. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations.