blog home Personal Injury What are Virginia’s ATV safety laws, and what should I do if I’m harmed by an ATV?

What are Virginia’s ATV safety laws, and what should I do if I’m harmed by an ATV?

By John Singleton on February 25, 2024

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are common in Virginia. Farmers and other workers rely on them for several purposes, and many people enjoy them for off-road recreation. Though riding an ATV can be fun, these vehicles can be dangerous. You can take precautions and wear safety gear to help stay safe.

ATVs have a high center of gravity, making it easy for them to tip over. ATV accidents can cause serious injuries, especially when one lands on top of a rider. Every year, hundreds of people are killed in ATV accidents, and thousands visit the emergency room with injuries.

What is an ATV?

Virginia defines an ATV as a four-wheeled motor-powered vehicle designed for off-highway use. This category doesn’t include go-carts or riding mowers. ATVs go by different names, including quads, side-by-sides, and four-wheelers.

People usually associate ATVs with recreational use, but they have practical applications, too. Farmers use them for hauling, plowing, spreading seeds, spraying, pulling stumps, building fences, and herding livestock.

Contrary to popular belief, ATVs aren’t meant for all types of terrain. They can be extremely dangerous when used on uneven surfaces, especially when the rider goes too fast.

What are the rules for riding an ATV in Virginia?

Some counties in Virginia, such as Buchanan County and Tazewell County, allow ATVs on certain roads under some conditions. Check with county officials for details. When a county does allow ATVs on public roads, the county must post signs approved by VDOT to warn drivers.

In places where local officials do not permit ATVs to go on roads, you can only ride your ATV on a highway or other public property when crossing a public road, and then you have to use the most direct route.

Of course, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical services are allowed to use ATVs on public property when they are responding to an emergency.

You don’t need to register your ATV with the DMV. ATVs are meant to be used on private property, and that means your own property. You can’t ride them on your neighbor’s property or anywhere else without permission.

People who violate ATV laws in Virginia face fines and civil penalties for property damage and injuries that result from riding them where they are not allowed, riding them in an unsafe manner, or disobeying the law on roads where ATVs are allowed.

What happens when someone is injured by an ATV accident?

ATV accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, particularly in rollovers. The biggest ATVs weigh more than 600 pounds, so it’s not surprising that serious injuries result when a rider gets pinned underneath one. Broken bones, spinal cord damage, and other debilitating injuries can result when ATVs tip over, collide with other objects, or crash into pedestrians.

To protect everyone’s safety, riders must remain alert and sober. Poor ATV maintenance also makes accidents more likely. Businesses that sell and rent ATVs are required to make sure the vehicles are in good working order and safely designed, and they must never rent ATVs to someone who is underage or intoxicated.

Talk to a Virginia ATV accident lawyer who can help

Ken and I are former U.S. Marines, and we consider it our calling to get justice for people who have been injured by others’ careless behavior, including when ATVs are involved.

We treat all of our clients as the neighbors they are, serving them with excellence and compassion. We bring empathy about what you’re going through because both Ken and I have been injured in senseless accidents ourselves.

When you put your trust in GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys for your ATV injury, you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. We call it our Zero Fee Guarantee.

Call our Virginia ATV accident lawyers at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 to schedule a free consultation today.

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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
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