Although ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) might seem inherently dangerous to parents, but to children, they look like they are a lot of fun to ride. Other children ride them, and there are even parks and trails throughout the State of Florida specifically designated for this recreational activity. In addition, families can also rent them while on vacation at most popular resorts, so how can ATVs be dangerous? These are all factors that overcome a parent’s natural instinct about the possible dangers of ATVs and children, and also make ATVs a good candidate for a hidden danger.
In Jacksonville, Florida, an eleven-year-old boy fell off an ATV and died. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, James ‘Colton’ Jackson was riding with a ten-year-old on an ATV that was driven by a 14-year-old when they hit a bump in the road. Jackson was ejected backwards off the vehicle and sustained life-threatening injuries from the fall. He was taken to Shands Jacksonville Hospital for treatment, but he sadly died. None of the boys were wearing helmets, said authorities.
ATV accidents and injuries are not rare. According to statistics, there are about 100 to 00 ATV-related deaths in children and teens under the age of 16 each year and an estimated 40,000 injuries treated in emergency rooms.
If you do chose to let your children ride on ATVs, remember that Florida law requires that children under the age of 16 to wear helmets and eye protection. For more information on this topic, see Boy who fell off all-terrain vehicle dies.