Who Is At Fault When An ATV Rollover Crash Occurs?

by Terry Bryant

An ATV rollover crash puts the driver in immediate danger, as a typical all-terrain vehicle weighs around 500 to 600 pounds. At that size, a vehicle can crush bones and destroy organs if it strikes a person with considerable force. But as deadly as these accidents can be, there is little effort on the part of manufacturers to ensure it doesn’t happen. In fact, since manufacturers were forced by the federal government to transition to four-wheel models from three-wheel models, there has been almost no improvement in the injury and fatality statistics.

Vehicle manufacturers blame drivers, claiming that their products are not intended to be used on uneven ground, and by untrained or young operators. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission agrees to an extent, stating that children under 16 lack the strength and skill to handle all-terrain vehicles designed for adults.

However, there is reason to believe that manufacturers aren’t doing all they can to improve the situation, either. According to an independent review of fatal accident data, The Oregonian determined that whether a driver was following safety warnings or not had little bearing on whether they were killed in an ATV rollover crash. All-terrain vehicles are getting heavier and heavier, and federal regulators are not verifying that a model meets stability standards established in 1988. Sadly, this means that all-terrain vehicles will likely remain a threat to drivers of all ages, but particularly to children, until further changes are made in the industry.