Utility Terrain Vehicles look like souped-up golf carts, but they are capable of much, much more. These vehicles have significant power and flexible applications, and having one on a large property can be invaluable. Uses range from practical applications like towing and moving cargo to recreational activities like off-roading and joyriding.
Polaris is the largest manufacturer of UTV’s, and Tennessee is home to one of the largest Polaris dealers in the world. These versatile vehicles are popular and fun for the whole family, but they are a vehicle in the eyes of the law and must be registered and used as such.
In Tennessee, a UTV is considered a “Low-Speed Vehicle.” It must be properly titled and registered with the DMV, and the vehicle can be operated on roads with a posted speed limit of 35 MPH or less. Because a UTV is considered a vehicle and can be operated on roadways, a valid driver’s license is required to operate one. In fact, Abernathy Cycles in Union City won’t even sell you a UTV if you imply that it’s intended to be operated by minors.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to resist allowing your children to go for a short ride on their own. A recent accident highlights the danger of allowing minors to operate motor vehicles unsupervised, and result in serious injuries for four young girls.
Three siblings and a friend were driving a Polaris Ranger UTV when something happened that caused the driver to lose control. Three of the four were wearing seatbelts when the UTV flipped. The girls – aged 2, 5, 11, and 13 – suffered various serious injuries, “from head trauma to broken bones and even internal injuries” according to ABC affiliate WBBJ.
A witness to the accident said, “I saw them little girls there, and I just knew I had to do what I could do. The little bitty girl, she was crying, and she was, I guess she was in shock. So I picked her up and tried to comfort her and everything.” Three of the girls were unconscious when first responders arrived. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Thankfully, the girls are all in stable condition and looking forward to a full recovery. We hope this incident will serve as a warning to parents. Utility Terrain Vehicles aren’t inherently dangerous, but they can be used in dangerous ways and cause serious injuries. If you have been injured in an accident, please contact us for a free consultation.