UTV stands for “utility task vehicle.” A Side-by-side UTV is a vehicle that has side-by-side seating, either for 2, 4, or more passengers. UTV’s are typically used on-site by different businesses for accomplishing small tasks, such as transporting patrons on site, hauling small loads of cargo, and similar tasks. Popular examples of side-by-side UTV’s include golf carts and luggage carts at airports.
In recent years, off-road side-by-side all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) have become popular. These often feature off-road tires, roll bars, and high powered engines and are used for sporting events or recreational use. Due to their high power and high speeds, they can sometimes be more dangerous than side by side UTV’s. Operators of UTV’s and other similar vehicles may sometimes require a permit or certification to operate them. Some UTV’s may have six or more wheels.
Are There Any Injuries or Accidents Associated with Side by Side Vehicles?
Side by side vehicles have certain characteristics that create various risks of accidents and injuries. For instance:
- While they generally come equipped with safety belts, drivers and passengers sometimes do not use them, as the use of the vehicle is typically very short-term (i.e., driving from one end of a lot to another). However, this can increase risk of injury in an accident
- Some side-by-side ATV’s or UTV’s are capable of hauling a fair amount of cargo weight in their bed. This can compound injuries and property damage in the event of an accident. Roll-overs can occur if cargo is not distributed properly
- In some cases, UTV’s do not have the same visibility factors or collision protection (i.e., airbags) as regular automobiles. Thus, a collision with an automobile, truck or other larger vehicle can result in serious injury or even fatalities, depending on the circumstances.
As mentioned, high-speed side-by-side ATV’s can lead to serious injury due to their high speed as well as the off-road location where they are driven at.
Are There Any Legal Issues Involved in UTV Accident?
As with other motor vehicles, various legal issues can be a factor in a UTV or side by side ATV accident. These include:
- Negligence or reckless driving
- Disregard for road rules and driving laws
- DUI/drunk driving
Liability for an accident can also be attributed to other factors, such as a defect with the vehicle. Side by side UTV accidents and injuries can lead to legal claims, which may involve a damages award to compensate for economic losses.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Side-by-side ATV Lawsuit?
Side-by-side ATV’s and UTV’s are unique vehicles that are associated with certain risks. Injuries from a UTV or ATV can be particularly severe. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer in your area if you need any legal advice or guidance for your claim. Your attorney can assist you with the filing process, and can also represent you in court if you need to attend a hearing or meeting.