Injuries Caused in Dirt Bike Accidents and How to Prevent Them From Occurring
Dirt bikes are off-road recreational vehicles that children and adults ride for fun. In the state of Washington, no one younger than the age of 13 is allowed to ride a dirt bike. In addition, all dirt bike riders are required to wear helmets. Even with these rules, riders of dirt bikes can suffer serious injuries or death in a dirt bike accident.
Common Causes of Dirt Bike Crashes
There are no skills classes that need to be taken or tests that need to be passed before someone can ride a dirt bike. Although these bikes are driven at slower speeds than motorcycles or motor vehicles, the terrain where they are driven can be dangerous, and accidents can still happen. Common causes of these crashes include:
Negligent driving by other dirt bike riders or vehicles, such as speeding, aggressive driving, and other unsafe practices that results in a collision
Unsafe driving by the injured rider, such as jumping or practicing racing maneuvers
Defective dirt bike parts that lead to an accident or fire
Defective trails and public roads
What Are Injuries Suffered in Dirt Bike Accidents?
Despite the fact that dirt bikes are ridden at slower speeds, they can still cause life-altering injuries or death. These catastrophic injuries can be especially devastating when the victim is a child or teenager who will suffer with disabilities for the rest of his life. Common injuries caused in these accidents include:
Ankle and wrist strains and sprains
Knee ligament and other injuries
Shoulder, back, and neck injuries
Spinal cord injuries—such as paralysis
Broken bones and fractures
Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury, concussion, and cranial bleeding
Internal organ damage
Safety Tips to Prevent Dirt Bike Accidents
While you cannot control the actions of other dirt bike riders, you can follow safety tips that will decrease the likelihood that you or your family member would be involved in an accident. Safety tips to follow include:
Follow Washington dirt bike laws. Do not let your children under 13 ride a dirt bike and insist that any riders wear a DOT-approved helmet at all times.
Wear protective gear. Don’t stop at a helmet. Wear eye protection, padded clothing, gloves, elbow pads, kneepads, and appropriate footwear to minimize injuries in the case of an accident.
Keep your dirt bike well maintained. Dirt bikes can receive rough treatment on the trails, so it is vital that you check your bike for mechanical issues before each ride. Examine the tires for scrapes or flats, and check your axel nuts. By keeping your dirt bike in good repair, you reduce the risk of an injury caused by a mechanical defect.
Know your skill level. A large number of motorbike accidents take place because of an inexperienced rider making poor decisions. It is very important to build up your skills slowly, practice, and know your limits. Teach your children how to drive safely and make them build up their riding skills before you let them ride on their own. Review unsafe maneuvers that they should avoid doing.
Do a practice run. Before riding a trail hard and fast, do a slow practice run to familiarize yourself with the course and to look for hazards such as debris, puddles, potholes, and roots. A practice run will help prevent serious accidents as well as expensive damage to your bike.
Do not drive when intoxicated. Just like it is unsafe to drive a vehicle when intoxicated by alcohol or drug use, you should not ride a dirt bike when intoxicated. This can result in poor decisions and driving in an unsafe fashion that can lead to a tragic wreck.
Were you or a family member injured in a dirt bike accident? It can be complicated to determine the cause of your accident and who to hold responsible for compensating you for your injuries. Let the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC help. Call our office to schedule your free consultation.