Google News Alerts sent a really disturbing news item my way recently. CBS News reported that the Yamaha Rhino all-terrain-vehicle is cause of a “legal firestorm.”
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 59 people have died because of accidents on these ATVs. Yamaha has settled an unknown number of lawsuits – and there are 440 pending wrongful death or personal injury suits pending that concern the Rhino.
What’s wrong with the Rhino?
- The CBS report says that plaintiffs in cases against Yamaha involving the Rhino claim it has:
- An unusually narrow stance and high-ground clearance that contribute to instability.
- No rear differential, making the Rhino more difficult to turn.
- Seat belts that have been known to “unspool” during rollovers. (This is the one that really, really gets me. Can you imagine how much worse the results of rollover accidents could be if victims are “partially ejected” – but still tethered to vehicles by loose seat belts? It’s difficult to believe.)
I believe in getting the word out about the dangers of the Yamaha Rhino, but that’s not the total inspiration for this post. I wanted readers to benefit from my experience representing ATV accident victims in New York and Pennsylvania. I probably wouldn’t have handled as many personal injury cases if ATV drivers just followed the following seven simple, but essential, rules for ATV safety.
ATV Common-sense Rules
- Only permit experienced drivers to operate the ATV.
- Wear a helmet.
- Ride in safe areas.
- Follow all applicable laws.
- Turn on the headlight and make sure all safety lights are working before operating the ATV.
- Never operate an ATV if you have been drinking or are under the influence of any drugs or medication.
- USE COMMON SENSE.
That’s it. I hope you’ll read, heed and share this advice.
Thanks for reading,
James B. Reed, Esq.
Personal Injury & Malpractice Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529