An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) roll-over or flip-over; and because they can happen suddenly, passengers are often taken by surprise. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has warned Americans that ATVs are dangerous. “[They] are the fifth deadliest product that we oversee,” Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the CPSC, said in a recent interview on NBC’s Today show. “Every year 700 people die, and 136,000 go to the emergency room because of ATV-related injuries.”
In many cases, these accidents have less to do with operator fault and are instead The staggering number of injuries associated with ATVs every year due to manufacturer negligence cannot be ignored. With such startling injury statistics, it’s no surprise that ATV manufacturers regularly institute recalls because they become targets of repeated litigation.
What kinds of injuries can result from an ATV rollover?
When an all-terrain vehicle flips or capsizes, the driver can be flung from it or pinned beneath it. In either case, the injuries from an accident can be severe. Drivers may be thrown at speeds exceeding 30 miles per hour. The resulting collision with the ground, a tree, or another fixed object can cause lacerations, broken bones, and permanent spine or brain injuries.
If the vehicle pins the driver, the situation can quickly worsen. Pinned drivers often suffer extensive fractures. And if no one quickly responds to help the driver, they may asphyxiate under the weight of the vehicle or suffer nerve damage from being crushed. Some accidents are caused by parts of the vehicle overheating. Contact with these dangerously hot parts – especially after being pinned – can produce as severe burns (third or fourth degree), which disfigure and bring a lifetime of pain and suffering.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is among the worst harm an ATV driver can suffer, as their lingering effects can haunt victims for the remainder of their lives. TBIs occur when the brain experiences direct physical trauma, such as a massive head wound, or when it slams against the inside wall of the skull with concussive force. In either case, the force of impact creates lesions and micro-tears in brain tissue and, often, bleeding in the brain which, if not immediately surgically corrected, can kill.
It’s virtually impossible to predict how TBI injuries will heal, or how well (or if) a victim will recover. Even a minor TBI, like a concussion, can take a long time for the victim to recover fully, and more severe TBIs are typically permanent. Complications associated with moderate or severe TBIs include speech or movement disorders, difficulty learning or focusing, loss of memory, pain, nausea, loss of sensation and balance, and changes in behavior or mood.
What Typically Causes an ATV to Roll or Flip?
All-terrain vehicles were never meant for recreational off-roading, as they aren’t built for quick turns. Nevertheless, this hasn’t stopped manufacturers from marketing them to adventurers and thrill seekers. Though vehicle makers have worked to reduce the likelihood of rollovers, the center of gravity on most ATVs is too high to offer stability in an off-road environment, especially if the driver is going at hell for leather speed. Almost all ATVs are also designed without independent rear-wheel slip differentials. This results in even greater instability in the rear every time a driver attempts a turn – especially a sudden, tight turn.
These design issues often make safe operation of the majority of ATVs virtually impossible, causing injuries which can change a victim’s life forever. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, consider speaking with an attorney, as financial restitution can help with medical expenses like long-term physical therapy, among other financial losses as a result of one of these vehicle accidents.
The Latest ATV Scourge – the Yamaha Rhino
The inherently hazardous design of the Yamaha Rhino ATV has produced a larger than expected number of serious – and fatal – rollover accidents. The design flaws which make the Rhino susceptible to dangerous rollovers include:
- Smaller-sized wheels and tires for the vehicle’s frame, coupled with …
- An even higher center of gravity and …
- A narrow wheelbase.
These design flaws and other warnings associated with Yamaha Rhinos were detailed at the time of the company’s voluntary recall by the magazine Consumer Reports.
After Suffering Serious injury in an ATV Accident, Speak with a Seasoned Lawyer
Houston attorneys of Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are prepared to take your fight to the negligent parties who are liable for your injuries. We are skilled advocates who hold negligent corporations that place innocent consumers in harm’s way fully accountable. Contact us via phone or fill out our easy online form to schedule your no-cost case evaluation. We have helped many injured people and their families get the justice and financial compensation they deserve under the law.