Spring is almost here and that means it’s “back to normal” for our Texas outdoor activities. We received a question from an insured that served as a reminder: our fun times can be risky times!
The question was: Am I liable if my grandkids and their friends are injured while riding our ATV’s (All-Terrain Vehicles) on our property?
The answer: You can be. It’s important to carry on-premises and off-premises liability if an accident occurs using your ATVs. Not all insurance carriers will respond the same in every circumstance, so it’s important that you check with your advisor to make sure your exposure in this area is covered under your insurance policies.
Also, some safety guidelines to consider while using your ATV’s:
- Attend ATV instruction courses to learn more about operating your vehicle.
- Read the owner’s manual carefully before attempting to ride, and assure that all riders understand how to remain safe.
- Never allow others to ride on an ATV with you.
- Do not carry attachments or loads unless you are trained on how to effectively drive the vehicle while carrying cargo.
- Never operate an ATV while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Do not ride on a public road or at night when motorists cannot see you as well.
- Wear a helmet that is designed specifically for riding an ATV. Helmets designed for cycling, skateboarding or rollerblading will not provide the necessary protection from falls because they cannot absorb enough energy upon impact when you hit the ground. A proper helmet should also resist blows from sharp objects, stay in place as you ride and should provide minimal peripheral vision. Also wear the appropriate eye protection if your helmet does not have a face shield.
- Wear gloves to improve your grip on the controls and reduce the pressure from holding onto the handle bars.
- Wear boots to protect your feet and legs from debris and to maintain your footing. This will also help maintain your balance and control.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to protect your skin from cuts and scrapes.
- Scan ahead of you to identify hazards such as rocks, fallen branches, fences, wires and unstable surfaces.
- Be on guard for unexpected hazards such as wildlife and other riders.
- Drive at a moderate speed while taking weather conditions and the terrain into account.
- Shift your weight when making turns and riding up and down hills.
We want you to be safe on and off the road. Contact us today to learn about all the ways we help you to protect what matters most.