Many people simply refer to their ATVs as “toys” and it is true that riding all-terrain vehicles can be fun. It’s also true that they need to be taken seriously by getting the ATVs insured and taking necessary safety precautions. There are several types of ATVs including
- Utility ATVs are commonly used for work or hunting and have a short suspension which makes them good for chores, such as feeding animals on a ranch or farm.
- Sports ATVs are more likely to be used recreationally, and are lighter in weight and have increased suspension that allows them to go over more bumps and handle jumping and turning. These can have either three or four wheels and are fast enough for racing.
- Kid’s ATVs are popular too. They are lighter and easier to ride and have lower weight limits typically between 100-150 pounds.
- Side by Sides (SxS) are also known as Rhinos and resemble a powerful golf cart. They are frequently used as pit vehicles, or when it is necessary to take passengers across rougher terrain.
The Risks and Benefits of All-Terrain Vehicles
ATVs are fun because they give the rider a different experience than traditional vehicles, and are able to fit into places where a conventional vehicle can’t. Although many use ATVs recreationally, it is not all fun and games when someone gets hurt. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issues a report each year that outlines ATV related injuries and deaths. Their report for 2013 indicates that more than 13,000 ATV fatalities between 1982-2013, more than 3,000 of these deaths were children under 16, and 1300 were under 12. In 2013 there were reports of 426 ATV related deaths, which was down considerably from 2012 when the toll was over 500, and over 600 in 2010 and 2011. Between 2010-2012 at least 650 kids under 16 suffered ATV related deaths.
Injuries have been a problem too. U.S. emergency departments saw 99.600 ATV injuries, and a quarter of these happened to kids under 16. Fortunately, most of the injuries were easily treated.
What Does ATV Insurance Cover?
ATV insurance policies cover many different things, usually at a relatively low cost. Exact coverage depends on the terms of the policy, but in general ATV insurance will protect against costs related to
- Damage to the ATV,
- Bodily injuries that occur when you are driving the ATV,
- Property damage, such as hitting a fence on someone else’s property,
- Liability that covers the injuries of others caused by any oversights in safety including things such as hospital bills, missed work, and damage to vehicles.
Increased Safety Precautions
Over the past several years, there has been a greater focus on employing safety precautions, which may account for some of the overall decrease of injuries and fatalities on ATVs. Many states have set limits on the amount of power an ATV can have when ridden by a child as well as age limits and supervision requirements. Safety certification is also mandatory for younger riders.
The most common ages where a child can ride unsupervised is between 10-12 years old. In addition, many states also require helmet and eye protection use for younger riders, and recommend these for all riders.
By following ATV related laws and safety suggestions, riders can decrease their risk of injury and will be able to enjoy their ATVs for many years. Finding the right ATV insurance policy is important too, and this is something that Frydach Insurance in Germantown, Wisconsin can help with. As an independent agency, we can access several different insurance options that will fit the way you and your family ride your ATVs. To learn more about your options for ATV insurance in Wisconsin, contact Frydach Insurance today.