Grandmother Killed, Boy Injured in ATV Accident
Last week, a grandmother from southeastern Indiana lost her life and her 10-year-old grandson was critically injured in an accident while riding the family all-terrain vehicle (ATV). 58-year-old Mary Romans and young Jacob Lorenz were riding on Country Road 700 West in Westport when the vehicle left the road and struck a tree. Romans was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. Lorenz was pinned in the vehicle, eventually being airlifted to Riley Hospital where he remains in a medically-induced coma as of last reports. The boy was wearing a seatbelt, whereas his grandmother was not. We are hoping for a good prognosis for this young boy and his family as we all wait and watch for updates over coming weeks.
A Perfect Storm
This tragedy repeats itself too regularly in the United States where ATV accidents kill over 700 and injure another 100,000 people each year (on average). As 2016 moves into spring and heads for summer, the country enters prime ATV-riding, and therefore ATV-accident, season. There are many contributors to the injuries and accidents that occur during this sporting activity, including a failure of state lawmakers to enact sensible policies, careless behavior by drivers or riders, and even flaws in the products themselves.
Consumer groups, doctors, and other experts have long argued in favor of policies intended to decrease the injuries and severity of injuries caused by ATV accidents; unfortunately, many states do not take the advice of these groups when developing laws and regulations for their constituents. For example, most experts recommend a total ban on riding ATVs on paved roads. Though the vehicles can reach interstate speeds of 60 mph or more, their lower-pressure tires make riding on pavement very dangerous. Over half of ATV deaths involve a rider on a paved road. Other often-ignored safety recommendations include:
- Preventing children under 16 from driving or riding on an adult-sized ATV;
- Prohibiting passengers on single-rider vehicles;
- Outlawing children under 6 from riding an ATV of any size;
- Requiring helmet use for all drivers and riders.
Indiana is a state that does not mandate any of the above, so it often falls upon the riders and drivers to take sensible steps to ensure their safety. In addition to being potentially lethal, ATV accidents can leave victims with life-altering injuries, such as:
- Head Injuries
- Facial Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
A final factor impacting ATV accidents is the product itself. There have been MANY recalls on ATV makes and models due to significant safety concerns. While some accidents may be a result of careless behaviors undertaken by drivers and riders, there are certainly accidents where injuries could have been avoided or minimized if not for a fatal flaw in the ATV itself.
Have You Or a Loved One Been Injured in an ATV Accident?
If you or a loved one has been involved in an ATV accident, call the motor vehicle accident and product liability lawyers at Wagner Reese. Our lawyers have decades of experience in handling cases like this one, and we work to help our clients achieve the justice they desire, as well as working to help them win the financial compensation they deserve. Give us a call today if you are interested in sitting down with us for a free consultation: (888) 204-8440.