Yet again this week I had to write the story I have written far too many times previously the story of a child dead following a four-wheeler crash. This time it was a 15-year-old girl with a lifetime of promise ahead of her. According to the coroner, she was going too fast, not wearing a helmet and making jumps on a powerful four-wheeler.
I have to object to the head line. I am a motorcyclist, not a motorcycle rider so i speak from experience. ATVs do not do anything unless there is an input from the person sitting on it. An adult who allows anyone on an ATV without proper training and protective gear in my opinion are guilty of negligence of the highest order and punished as such. Instead, they blame the ATV manufacture. How stupid is that. No one forced them them to purchase it. They gave in to the request, then declined to take the next step and properly train, instruct on how to safely operate the ATV. The person to blame in staring at you in the closest looking glass.
Let me start off by expressing my deepest sympathy for the family that lost the young girl. As a parent I cannot imagine losing a child. I do have to disagree with the dramatic head line claiming that the “ATV industry has blood on its hands”.
The “big four” manufacturers and most of the others have educational material that they offer for free to all customers concerning safety issues for adult and younger riders. They even plaster the fenders of their products with multiple warnings about age restrictions and helmet requirements. It seems that sometimes we look to point a finger to make sense of why something terrible has happened. Should we blame the police if our home is burglarized because they are supposed to serve and protect? Should we blame Jack Daniels when some inebriated idiot runs a red light and causes a horrific accident? Should we blame NOAA when a tropical storm hundreds of miles away stirs up a wind that breaks a limb and it falls on a little boy and causes a devastating brain injury?
A few years ago, my youngest son had a terrible ATV accident. He suffered a compound fracture to his leg, had fifty or so stitches on his face and in his mouth, and destroyed five thousand dollars’ worth of dental work. He was in a wheelchair for a couple of months and on crutches for several more. He totaled out the ATV and the van he hit. The van was a total loss considering the year make it was and what it would have cost to repair it. He was lucky that he survived. On that day, he broke two rules. 1: wear a helmet. 2: do not ride off of our property. I did not notice that he had done this until a few minutes later when we received a phone call about the accident. That day I felt like I had failed at being a responsible parent, but the fact is that as much as you can try to be the super vigilant parent and know what your child is doing every breathing second, it is impossible to do unless you are hand cuffed to them. I still take responsibility for this accident and admit that it was my fault. Most times we are successful at protecting our children from the bad things that can happen, but sometimes no matter what you do, s**t happens…
Wow, Lamar. I never heard about this accident. You are right, he is extremely lucky. As far as good parents go..........if all were like you and Rhonda, this world would be a MUCH, MUCH better place.
Love you all, Sheila