Clarksburg ATV Laws
All-terrain vehicles (ATV) are growing in popularity in West Virginia. But in order to enjoy ATV recreation, you should always keep safety in mind. To that end, West Virginia has established certain rules and regulations for ATV use in order to prevent ATV accidents.
The state laws pertaining to ATV use are outlined in Section 17-A of the West Virginia penal code. These laws are enforced by the West Virginia State Police, which is also the state agency tasked with regulating ATV usage. All of these laws are designed to prevent injuries and deaths, which can result from a Clarksburg ATV accident.
West Virginia ATV Laws: Titles
State law requires that every all-terrain vehicle must be accompanied by a title, just like any other vehicle. This helps authorities keep track of the owners of such vehicles in case they are stolen or involved in a West Virginia ATV accident.
West Virginia ATV Laws: Lights
There are also regulations involving the operation of ATVs in non-daylight hours. Every all-terrain vehicle must have a working headlight and taillight if it is being driven at night. Proper illumination can prevent many types of collisions and accidents.
West Virginia ATV Laws: Paved Roads
Generally speaking, all ATVs are banned from driving on paved roadways in the state. This law was approved in an effort to avoid ATV collisions with passenger cars, trucks, and other larger vehicles.
There are a few exceptions to the “no paved roads” rule that include:
- two-lane paved roads;
- paved roads with no center stripe or lane markings;
- crossing a paved road to get from one ATV trail/field to another; and
- driving on a paved road to get from one ATV trail/field to another – if the distance is less than 10 miles and the ATV’s speed is less than 25 miles per hour.
West Virginia ATV Laws: Passengers
On ATVs that only have seating for 1 individual, passengers are strongly discouraged during operation. Passengers are likely to be thrown from ATVs, because they are not actively controlling the vehicles and therefore cannot anticipate their movements. The only situations where passengers are allowed on ATVs are:
- if the ATV is designed for 2 or more riders, or
- if the ATV’s driver and passenger are both at least 18 years old and the operator of the ATV has a driver’s license
Clarksburg ATV Laws: Minors
West Virginia has strict laws regarding ATV use for people under the age of 18. Every all-terrain vehicle rider who is 17-years-old or under must wear a helmet at all times. Additionally, all ATV drivers in that age group must complete a rider safety awareness course.
Drunk Driving ATVs in Clarksburg
Because an ATV is a motorized vehicle, its riders are covered by the same DUI laws that any driver of a car, truck, bus, or other vehicle must adhere to. Therefore, an ATV operator can be cited for drunk driving if their blood alcohol content registers at .08 or above. Minors are not allowed to have any alcohol in their system while driving an ATV.
As with other vehicles, when it comes to a West Virginia ATV accident, alcohol use is a common factor. Such accidents can potentially cause more severe injuries to drivers because ATVs are not equipped with many of the safety features that are commonly found in other vehicles.
Determining Liability in a Clarksburg ATV Accident
If you have been injured by the recklessness or negligence of an ATV driver, you should contact a qualified Clarksburg ATV accident lawyer to assist you in filing a West Virginia personal injury claim.