All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, are popular with adults, teens, and children in Nevada. Riding these vehicles is fun, but ATVs can be dangerous, so it is important to exercise caution. In 2018, over 80,000 people sought treatment for ATV accident injuries, and more than 250 were killed. To increase safety, the state of Nevada has several laws in place that apply to ATV use.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s latest report of ATV-related deaths and injuries includes the following statistics:
ATVs are considered off-highway vehicles (OHV) under Nevada law, making them subject to the following OHV regulations:
ATVs Must be Registered (Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 490.520)
Owners must obtain a title to their new ATV, if it was purchased on or after July 1, 2012. The failure to do so can result in a fine of $100. An exception is if it is solely used for husbandry on private land or on public land that is leased to or used under a permit issued to the owner or operator of the ATV. If an ATV is stolen, improperly operated, or has a tampered VIN, law enforcement has the right to seize it. Insurance is not required to operate an ATV or any other off-highway vehicle.
Minors (NRS 483.580)
ATV drivers are not required to be a certain age, but children under the age of 16 must be supervised by an adult who is at least 18.
No Highways or Public Roads (NRS 490.110)
ATVs are manufactured and designed for off-road use, and as a result, cannot be driven on Nevada highways or public roads. Even if they have all required standard safety equipment.
Required Equipment (NRS 490.120)
When operating an ATV on public lands (not roads), you must comply with Nevada laws and regulations, such as speed limits. The ATV must also have working headlights and taillights, a muffler, and a spark arrester.
There is no legal requirement to wear a helmet while riding an ATV, as long as it is not on a county or city maintained road. However, they are highly recommended to prevent further injury in the event of an accident.
If an ATV is involved in an accident in Nevada, there are multiple parties that may be financially responsible if they are found to have been negligent. Those may include:
More than half of the individuals seriously injured in ATV accidents are children or young teenagers. Parents who were negligent in their supervision and control of their children, resulting in injury, can be held liable.
Nevada uses the rule of modified comparative negligence, which means that a plaintiff’s compensation can be reduced based on their percentage of negligence. For instance, a plaintiff awarded $10,000 in their ATV accident claim and found 30 percent responsible will only recover $7,000. Nevada law allows plaintiffs to collect compensation as long as they are less than 51 percent responsible.
If you have been involved in an ATV accident, speak to a Las Vegas accident attorney to ensure liability is correctly assigned.