All terrain vehicles, although seemingly fun, can cause personal injury or even wrongful death to drivers and passengers due to rollover accidents. One model in particular, the Yamaha Rhino ATV, has been under scrutiny for easily tipping and rolling over when turns at even a low speed are made. In the year 2000, 547 people died in ATV-related accidents, according to Consumer Reports. A 9-year-old Texan boy was killed as a earlier this summer after a Yamaha Rhino his 12-year-old sister was driving rolled over, pinning the boy and causing severe trauma to his head. Even though as a passenger he was wearing a seatbelt, the lack of doors on the ATV contributed to his ejection from the vehicle. These ATVs are especially dangerous to children under the age of 16, as many kids are not used to driving a motor vehicle, or don’t take the ATV’s seriously. Our Toledo, Ohio personal injury attorneys have seen the devastating affects of these rollover accidents, and the personal injury resulting from a Rhino ATV accident.
YamahaRhinoAccidents.com had this to say about the dangerous ATV:
Since the Yamaha Rhino was introduced to the market in the United States in September 2003, some drivers and passengers have been seriously injured, and in some cases permanently maimed as a result of rollover accidents. The Rhino, because of its unique design – including a narrow wheelbase, high center of gravity, fast acceleration and extremely quick turning radius – can be very unstable and roll over on either the driver or passenger side when sharply turned at low speeds. Although the vehicle is equipped with a roll bar and seat belt, it has no lower leg or foot protection. When the Rhino tips or rolls over, the driver’s or passenger’s leg can come out of the vehicle and be crushed by various portions of the roll bar. These crush injuries have proven to be very difficult to treat, and in some cases have led to the amputation of the injured person’s leg. In many cases where the leg has been saved, the nature of the crush injury has required multiple surgeries, bone grafts, and muscle flap procedures. This leaves the victim with a severely and permanently impaired leg for the rest of his or her life. These types of injuries resulting from low speed operation of the vehicle are completely unforeseeable to the owner, driver or passenger. Although many lawsuits have been filed against Yamaha claiming defects and negligent design, Yamaha has not made any changes in the vehicle that would make them more stable or add protection to the drivers’ and passengers’ legs.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Defective and Dangerous Products.