While the South Carolina personal injury attorneys have commented on auto collisions, motor cycle crashes, bicycle wrecks, and boating accidents, this is the first incident involving an all-terrain vehicle, or better known by its acronym as an ATV. Like all recreational vehicles ATVs can be extremely enjoyable to ride, but also like all motor vehicles, if not operated safely, they pose a threat of serious injury or death. Sadly, a Wadmalaw man learned this hard way when he lost control of his ATV and crashed into a tree.
Initially, Charleston County Sheriff’s Deputies who responded to the crash thought the 26-year-old operator of the vehicle may have had some sort of medical episode, which caused him to lose control prior to hitting the tree. After the wreck the man was conscious and alert and his injuries were not thought to have been life-threatening. However, these injuries eventually killed him the next day, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office.
The autopsy determined the 26-year-old died from blunt force trauma to his upper body. He wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but this fact had no significance in the Coroner’s examination, as the man didn’t suffer a head and/or brain injury.
Sheriffs also noted that the ATV the Wadmalaw man was driving had faulty breaks, however investigators were unable to determine a precise cause for the accident, apart from driver error. But, considering that there may have been defective products involved in the crash, it could be that the exact cause of the crash can be attributed to multiple factors, not soley due to the driver’s error.
In an effort to prevent similar accidents, the lawyers at The Christmas Law Firm would like to share The ATV Institute’s Golden Rules. They are as follows: 1. Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves. 2. Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law – another vehicle could hit you. ATVs are designed to be operated off-highway. 3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. 4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people. 5. Ride an ATV that’s right for your age. 6. Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys. 7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed. 8. Take a hands-on ATV RiderCourse and the free online E-Course. Visit ATVsafety.org or call 800.887.2887.