According to a report, one man is in critical condition in North Florida following an all terrain vehicle crash Sunday morning. St. Johns County deputies are trying to figure out what caused the recreational vehicle (or all terrain vehicle, ATV) to overturn on a private dirt road on Bartram Air Park property off County Road 13 in northwest St. Johns. Apparently, all three men were riding an Arctic Cat when it rolled. Emergency crews responding to the scene do not know who was driving.
A 39-year-old man of St. Augustine was the most seriously injured. He was taken to Shands Jacksonville and is in critical condition. We sincerely hope he pulls through from his injuries and he is in our prayers.
One person was treated at the scene and a third man from St. Augustine was taken to Flagler Hospital by emergency crews. At this time it is suspected that alcohol may have been a factor in the all terrain vehicle auto crash in Florida and none of the men was wearing his seatbelt.
Even the manufacturers warn that riding an ATV can be dangerous. The ATV industry encourages riders to always wear proper protective gear, including a helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing. You are told not to carry passengers unless the ATV is specifically engineered to accommodate them. And of course, excess speeds, stunt riding, unknown terrain, drugs or alcohol are all discouraged as part of the safety basics when you purchase one of these ATVs.
If indeed alcohol was involved and three men were riding on one vehicle, this accident could well be due to negligent operation.
But that’s not always the case. The Arctic Cat has been the subject of several recalls. In 2007, the handlebar base bolts were coming loose that resulted in a loss of vehicle control. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says it received no reports or injuries related to the problem. 1,500 ATVs were recalled. The Arctic Cat was subject to another recall in 2006 by the CPSC.
The CPSC has been working on improving safety by cooperating with the industry. However, many of these companies are based overseas, out of the reach of the U.S. government and its rules and regulations.
Traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and permanent disability and death, can result from ATV crashes and ATVs can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and go 75 mph.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving an ATV, it may be due to defective design of a recalled vehicle. An experienced St. Augustine auto accident attorney can help you research whether your ATV was subject to recall in order to protect your rights.
If you have been involved in an ATV- related accident you may be able to recover medical expenses and loss of earnings. Call Farah and Farah if you would like to discuss your case.