The Importance of Helmets While Riding ATVs

On Thursday, June 18, 2015, two people were killed in an ATV crash involving a tractor-trailer. Amber Judge, age 31 and Eric Baker, age 23 were both riding a stolen ATV and were later killed. The two drivers ran a red light near Route 924 and the ramp to Interstate 81. This area is also known as the “CanDoExpress”.

After running the red light the two drivers collided with a tractor-trailer. The crash killed both the driver and passenger to the ATV. State Police will inspect the tractor trailer but it is likely that the driver of the tractor-trailer will receive no charges.

Neither Judge nor Baker was wearing a helmet.

Locals to the area have been reporting more sightings of ATVs on state roads. It is legal for ATVs to cross state roads. However, it is illegal to continuously drive on a state road on an ATV.

Safety Tips for ATVs

Since 1982 Pennsylvania has reported over 571 ATV related deaths. That is one of the highest in the country. ATVs can be fun and adventurous but dangerous. It’s important to do the following

  • Wear a helmet
  • DO NOT drive on Paved or state roads. ITS ILLEGAL
  • Anyone under the age of 16 should not be operating an adult sized ATV
  • Always supervise your children while on or around ATVs
  • Wear other protective gear such as long sleeves, eye protection, long pants, and boots
  • Do not drive with a passenger
  • Take a safety course

Wearing a helmet makes a difference and can also mean a matter of life or death. Helmets prevent injuries and can save your life. Modern helmets are made to be comfortable, so there’s no reason as to why you shouldn’t wear one. Your safety is an investment. It’s also important to look for two types of safety ratings.

Helmet Safety Ratings

  1. Department of Transportation (DOT) Rating – State’s legal standards
  2. Snell Rating – The Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to research, education, testing and development of helmet safety standards. Since its founding in 1957, Snell has been a leader in helmet safety in the United States and around the world.

The trend of ATVs being driven on paved roads or state roads is dangerous. ATVs are designed for off-roading activities. Due to design, they are not considered motor vehicles by the US Department of Transportation. ATVs are then left to be regulated by the state. In Pennsylvania, you can cross paved roads or operated ATVs on paved roads during emergency conditions. ATVs do not have the proper tires for paved roads or proper lighting to alert other drivers. ATVs are also prone to flipping over.

What do I do if I am injured by an ATV?

If a tragic accident caused by an ATV has affected your life in a negative way, do not hesitate to contact us so we can help you as soon as possible. Call us at 570-714-HURT in Wilkes-Barre or (215) 575-9237 for Philadelphia. At Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law Firm results in a matter as we fight for the injured.

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With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.

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