Nevada residents and visitors often use all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs. These are popular with all ages — children, teens, and adults. Although riding ATVs can be extremely fun, they can also be dangerous. It is critical to exercise caution when operating ATVs. Research shows that over 80,000 people needed medical treatment for ATV accident-related injuries. More than 250 people were killed in ATV accidents as well. In an effort to increase safety and reduce accidents and deaths related to ATVs, the state of Nevada has passed numerous laws that relate to ATV use.
Nevada law considers ATVs off-highway vehicles (OHVs), making the subject to particular regulations. These include requiring:
- ATVs to be registered, under Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 490.520. This includes mandating ATV owners obtaining title to the vehicle if it was bought on or after July 1, 2012. Failure to register the ATV can lead to a $100.00 fine. The exception is if the ATV is used only for husbandry on private land, or on public land that is used under a permit or leased to the owner or operator of the vehicle;
- Under NRS 483.580, there is no age requirement for drivers to operate an ATV, however, minors under the age of 16 must be supervised by an adult at least 18 years of age when operating the vehicle;
- NRS 490.110 prohibits ATVs to be driven on Nevada’s highways or public roads, even if the vehicles have all the required safety equipment under the law. Indeed, ATVs are designed and manufactured for off-road use;
- Nevada law, specifically NRS 490.120, mandates that all ATVs have fully working headlights and taillights, a spark arrester, and a muffler. ATV drivers must comply with state laws and regulations including speed limits. Moreover, state law does not require ATV drivers to wear helmets as long as the road is not city or county maintained.
Notably, insurance is not required under Nevada law to operate an ATV — or any other off-highway vehicle. Moreover, if an ATV is improperly operated, stolen, or has a tampered VIN, Nevada law enforcement can legally seize the vehicle.
According to a 2018 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report of ATV-related injuries and deaths, the following statistics involve ATV accidents:
- About one-third of ATV accident victims who are killed are under the age of 16;
- As far back as the 1980s, research shows that 21% of the total ATV accident-related deaths were minors under 16; 9% of the fatalities were children under the age of 12;
- More than 81,000 people sought and received emergency medical treatment for ATV injuries in 2018; as much as 37% of those victims were children under the age of 16 and more than half of those children were under the age of 12;
- A majority of all ATV crashes — nearly 75% — result in severe spinal and brain injuries;
- Between 2004 and 2013, more than 85% of ATV occupants who died in an accident were not wearing helmets;
- Since the early 1980s, approximately 135 fatalities have occured in Nevada due to ATV-related accidents;
- Nearly 40% of ATV operators involved in deadly crashes from 2004 to 2013 were under the influence of alcohol.
We Can Help
If you have been involved in a Nevada ATV accident, the experienced personal injury lawyers at H&P Law can help you. Contact our Las Vegas or Henderson office today to schedule your initial case evaluation.