Articles and Videos by
ATV Expert Witness Bill Uhl
If you’re not an expert operator of all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles or motorcycle dirt bikes and you take on a case involving an ATV, UTV, motorcycle or snowmobile, you’ll most likely search for an Expert Witness who specializes in off-highway vehicle (OHV) cases. Make sure the Expert Witness or consultant you select understands safety training issues because safety training is a critical factor in the majority of off-road vehicle accidents. If your case involves a recreational equipment rental facility or an OHV tour company, make sure the expert witness you select has experience working on similar cases.
Prevent ATV, UTV, Snowmobile, Motorcycle and Other Accidents and Injuries While Protecting Your OHV Equipment
As a Court-Qualified Expert Witness and Safety Trainer, I’ve worked on over 76 legal cases and provided testimony regarding the operation of all-terrain vehicles — ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles, as well as motorcycle dirt bikes, dual sport cycles and street bikes, off-road guided tour injuries and related trail construction. I’m often asked by both plaintiff and defense attorneys to explain why and how going slow to go fast when operating off-highway vehicles (OHVs) makes it possible for riders and their equipment to go the distance without any problems or injuries during off-road riding.
This article can help all-terrain vehicle (ATV), snowmobile and motorcycle dirt bike riders and mountain bikers stay safe during off-road vehicle (OHV) riding experiences. Most people don’t give adequate attention to a very old-fashioned safety training marker: blaze marks. Most recreational safety training classes fail to point out how blaze marks can sometimes prevent accidents and injuries when machine operators become lost or disoriented.
What would you do if you were unexpectedly stranded while snowmobiling? Have you had safety training that prepared you to survive a surprise night out in the cold with a snowmobile that wouldn’t run? Do you know how to stay hydrated and safe? Do you know how to prevent accidents, injuries, and death by preparing an adequate survival pack? Conduct a pre-ride inspection? Build adequate snow bridges?
When operating an ATV, UTV, ROV, SxS, RZRs or any of our new 4 wheeled off-highway vehicles with low pressure tires, manufacturers of different types of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) tell operators not to operate their vehicles on an asphalt surface, including sidewalks, paths, parking lots, driveways and roads. It’s not surprising if operators and new owners are confused because manufacturers do not fully inform them why this is so.
As a Safety Trainer and Court-Qualified Expert Witness regarding ATVs, UTVs, ROVs, SxS, RZRs and other off-highway vehicles, I’m often asked why manufacturers fail to explain the reasons why driving or riding on asphalt is a genuine problem. Manufacturers don’t inform the public that operating on asphalt can create a potentially life-threatening situation.
As a Court-Qualified Expert Witness, I’ve assisted attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants in over 75 legal cases. The cases related to off-highway vehicle (OHV) safety training (or lack of) and accidents regarding ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles (street, dirt bike and motocross), guided tour issues and trail construction problems.
My first ISDT (motorcycle competition known as International Six-Day Trials or “The Olympics of Motorcycling” was in 1969. I was definitely a rookie. One of the U.S. riders was injured before the event started and I was the first alternate on the U.S. team that year in Garmisch Partenkirken Germany. By the end of the Six-Day competition, only two U.S. riders, Malcolm Smith and I, had earned a gold medal in our respective classes for the U.S. because we hadn’t lost any time during the intense timed trials.
Watch the short video about creating a safe snowmobile creek-crossing bridge. Crossing without a correct safety bridge can be so dangerous that you may be risking an accident, injury or even death. Even a temporary bridge can solve many hazards you don’t want be challenged by. As you watch the video, think about how the bridge will look when the snow covering the surrounding area melts in the spring. Notice the crisscross sticks on top of some logs. Also notice how the sunny side has started to melt out. Observe how the logs span the gap of a drainage ditch alongside a trail that has very steep sides and is impossible to cross without the temporary bridge. Consider how this fun, relatively simple process can create safe access to a recreational area on the other side.
Enjoy your time in the snow! Just make sure you go prepared for the unexpected, including a possible night out when you least expect it.
Bill Uhl competing upon his Penton motorcycle in the final special test, on his way to becoming the top placing American rider at the 1973 ISDT in Dalton Massachusetts.
As a Court-Qualified Expert Witness regarding safety training to prevent accidents when riding ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles and motorcycles (dirt bikes, dual sports and street bikes), I’m often asked to explain how my professional passion and background created my current career.
The 1973 ISDT (International Six Days Trial), known as The Olympics of Motorcycling, was held in Dalton, Massachusetts. It was the first time this event was held in the United States in its 60-year history. The ISDT is the longest running motorcycle event in the world, spanning 106 years, from 1913 to 2019. (In 1981, the event name was changed to ISDE, International Six Days Enduro.)
If you care about All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV), Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV), or Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) rider safety and you are an ROV owner / operator, tour company guide, tour company owner or other company or organization official, this is an important article for you to read. There are a multitude of reasons that an OHV Pre-Ride Inspection should follow relevant manufacturer guidelines, owner’s manuals and operator’s manuals. Caution can help you prevent All-Terrain Vehicle accidents, injuries and deaths.
ATV and UTV manufacturers say ATVs and UTVs are not toys and can be hazardous to operate.Manufacturers issue warnings like: These vehicles handle differently than other vehicles, such as motorcycles and cars. A collision or rollover can occur quickly, even during routine maneuvers like turning or driving on hills or over obstacles if an operator fails to take proper precautions.