Colder weather is here, the holidays are approaching, and deer hunting season has started in Illinois. Hunting seasons designate specific dates where it is legal to hunt a specific kind of animal for recreation. The archery deer hunting season takes place from October 1st until January 19th, muzzleloader is December 5th through the 8th and then again from December 13th through 15th, firearms season is November 22nd through the 24th and again from December 5th through 8th, and the youth firearms hunt is from October 12th through 14th. Separately, the Illinois wild turkey seasons are October 19th through 27th for all firearms and October 1st through January 19th for fall archery. Unfortunately, the excitement of hunting seasons often masks the potential dangers that are associated with it.
Most reported accidents are found to be related to tree stands and misfires but they can also include injuries incurred through the use of all-terrain vehicles, commonly referred to as ATVs. One-third of ATV related injuries and deaths involve children either riding with an adult or driving an adult-sized ATV, but injuries also occur when the vehicle is being used for hunting purposes. The many advantages of utilizing an ATV during hunting seasons have increased their use dramatically over the last decade. ATVs create easier access to secluded areas, and it can make it easier to retrieve game. These vehicles are convenient for hunting purposes, yet also present additional hazards to hunters using them. A few safety tips for use of ATVs include:
- Make sure the ATV is at its top performance before using it.
- Take time to familiarize yourself with the ATV before taking it on a hunting trip.
- Do not overload rack boxes and consider what you’re hauling on the ATV and how much extra weight it will add.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Single-rider ATVs should never carry passengers.
- Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Never fire your weapon from an ATV.
- Do not ride with loaded firearms on an ATV.
- Stick to existing trails as much as possible.
- Slow down or stop when approaching others on trails.
- Read the owner’s manual to the ATV.
ATVs are enjoyable vehicles to ride and can be beneficial during the hunting season, but it is important to take extra precautions when using them and to remember the safety tips associated with their use. Only experienced drivers should drive ATVs, for these vehicles require a unique set of skills to operate them. Though, even when taking extra safety precautions, it is still possible to be injured through the use of an ATV. The vehicle could be faulty or have an unknown recall, placing the driver or passenger of the ATV in danger. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury while riding an ATV and it was due to the negligence of the manufacturing company of the vehicle or another party, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys are Spiros Law, P.C. understand how traumatic being injured while riding these vehicles may be and are skilled in handling legal cases of negligence. Contact one of our attorneys today to receive a free consultation.