With summer just around the corner, many Albertans are thinking about hitting the trails on their ATVs, side-by-sides, and other recreational vehicles. Whether you’re looking at Lakeland Provincial Park, the Richardson River Sand Dunes, Iron Horse Trail, or one of Alberta’s other ATV destinations, safety is key to getting the most out of your next outdoor adventure.
To help get you started, you’ll find seven of James H. Brown and Associates’ top tips for safe quadding this spring, as well as how we can help if you’re injured on the trails.
1. Wear Your Gear
Safety gear is never optional. Helmets, goggles, boots, and gloves should always be worn when you’re riding. Motocross pants, jerseys, and jackets can (literally) save your skin while keeping you cool and comfortable on more challenging rides.
2. Choose the Right ATV for You
Quads come in all shapes and sizes, and having the right one for you can make for a safer and more enjoyable ride. Most moderate trails (and adult riders) will be just fine with anywhere between 400-600cc. If you want or need more, make sure you know how to handle it before taking it out for the day.
3. Check Your Ride, Every Time
It doesn’t take long, and it can save you from a long walk back to the truck, or worse. Make sure you’re gassed up, your tires and rims are in good shape, your cables are intact, and your chains and sprockets are in good working order.
4. Don’t Ride Alone
Like any activity with a risk of injury, it’s never a good idea to hit the trails alone. Running out of gas, crashing, or getting lost isn’t fun at the best of times, but being stranded by yourself can quickly turn into a dangerous situation.
5. Ride Sober
Like any other motor vehicle, ATVs can’t be driven safely under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Don’t put yourself and others at risk; it just isn’t worth it.
6. Stay Alert, Take Breaks When You’re Tired
You don’t have to be drunk or high to not be aware enough to ride. A day on the trails is a great physical workout, and even the most experienced riders need a break to let their mind and body recharge. Many ATV accidents occur when fatigue starts to set in, so take breaks when you need them (and make sure you’re fed and watered!).
7. No Goon Riding
If you know what this is, you know better than to do it. Showing off and riding recklessly only endangers yourself and the people you’re riding with.
What to Do if You’re Injured in an ATV Accident
Each year, countless individuals in Alberta are injured in ATV and other recreational vehicle accidents. If it happens to you or someone you’re riding with, take the following steps to protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Seek medical attention. No matter how tough you are or how minor your injuries appear, it’s never a bad idea to get checked out after an ATV accident. Even seemingly “minor” injuries can get worse over time, and many insurance companies will claim you’re making up your injuries if you don’t get them looked at right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Start documenting damages. If your accident prevents you from working, leads to medical expenses, or otherwise changes your day-to-day routine, keep track of it. We encourage all of our clients to keep a journal of “damages” and lifestyle changes caused by their accident. If you need to make a claim or seek a settlement, this information will be vital for getting complete and fair compensation for your injury.
- Seek legal advice ASAP. If your accident was caused by another party, getting sound legal advice is the first step towards justice. Recreational vehicle law in Alberta can be complicated; getting a professional opinion and an experienced team on your side quickly can help you secure the compensation you deserve.
ATV Accident Injury Law with James H. Brown and Associates
Since 1993, James H. Brown and Associates has been dedicated to standing up for accident victims across Alberta. Our team knows firsthand what it’s like to be seriously injured, and is proud of our proven record of attaining justice for our clients.
No two accidents are the same; that’s why we offer a full range of services and support for our clients, including:
- An award-winning team of injury lawyers with an unrivalled record of success.
- Investigation and evidence preservation services, including accident reconstruction.
- Strong relationships with organizations ready to assist with rehabilitation and recovery.
- And much more!
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in an ATV Accident?
Contact us today to book a free, no-obligation consultation with James H. Brown and Associates’ injury lawyers.