Although ATVs offer fun, adventure and a chance to explore Ontario’s trails, they can be dangerous if laws and safety precautions are not followed.
Inexperience, speed and carrying passengers can all be factors in ATV accidents in Ontario. An ATV accident may result in a variety of injuries including broken bones, abrasions, bruising, burns, concussions (minor to severe head injuries) and even spinal cord injuries.
Three Tips to avoid personal injury while riding an ATV
In Ontario, there are numerous legal requirements covering ATVs, ranging from issues regarding registration and insurance to rules about on-road driving (where permitted) and protective gear. If you are own or drive an ATV, you need to be familiar with and follow the provisions of the Off-Road Vehicles Act and the Highway Traffic Act.
To help protect yourself from injury and accidents, we recommend following these tips, which are outlined in the Smart Ride Safe Ride handbook (PDF) and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website:
1. Take a Hands-on Safety Training Course
Controlling and driving an ATV is different from driving a car. Read and follow the owner’s manual. Formal training will help teach drivers how to control ATVs on a number of different terrains and help lower the risk of accident and injury.
2. Always Wear Protective Gear
Wear an approved helmet with a chin strap securely fastened under your chin. This will help reduce the risk and severity of any head injuries. Protective gear such as long sleeved shirts or jackets, long pants and leather gloves will also help protect you from some injuries.
3. Inspect your ATV Before Riding
It is important to inspect your ATV before each ride to help detect any problems which may lead to an accident. Always check the following before heading out for a ride:
- Air pressure in your tires is adequate
- Visually inspect for loose bolts and nuts, or any cracked or worn parts
- Check the oil and gas levels
- Check brakes and headlights to ensure they are in proper working order
Following these tips will help keep your ATV rides enjoyable and safe.
If you or anyone you know has been in an ATV accident, our team of experienced Ontario personal injury lawyers can help. We would be pleased to sit down with you in your home town for a free initial consultation to answer any of your questions.