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Stay Safe on ATVs

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An ATV accident in northeast Houston this weekend underscores the danger that ATVs pose to riders. The accident occurred in the 1100 block of Homestead, where thousands of people lined the streets to welcome the Pineywoods Trail Riders. A man in an automobile was hit by what were most likely kids on an ATV. The kids on the ATV fled the scene, and are being searched for by the Houston Police Department. Fortunately the man in the automobile wasn't seriously hurt.

ATVs can be unsafe if improperly used. In 2011, there were 327 reported deaths from ATV accidents. In addition, there were approximately 107,500 emergency room injuries due to ATV accidents. In Texas, between 2008 and 2011, there were 134 reported deaths attributed to ATV accidents.

Under Texas law, no passengers are allowed on an ATV unless the ATV is on private lands. ATVs cannot be used on public streets. If a driver is under the age of 14, he or she must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If the ATV is being operated on public lands, the driver must have a safety certificate or be with an adult who has a safety certificate. Finally, if ATVs are ridden between 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise, they must have a lighted headlight and taillight.

ATVs, which are also known as four wheelers, can be risky if certain safety steps aren't followed. It's important to use common sense while operating an ATV. It's important that riders get proper training with a safety training course before riding. Riders should also wear helmets. Children shouldn't drive or ride on adult ATVs - children are involved in about a third of all ATV deaths, and death and injuries are much more likely when a child is driving or riding an adult ATV. ATVs also shouldn't be ridden on pavement, or while the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Finally, ATVs shouldn't be ridden with a passenger.

If you have been injured due to the fault of someone else in a Texas motorcycle, bicycle, or ATV accident, financial help may be available. Contact the skilled Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, property damages, medical expenses, and more. Call us for a free consultation at 713-489-9493, or visit us on Facebook to learn more.

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