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ATV Accidents

Although All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) were originally designed for work on farms and ranches, ATV accidents frequently involve people who use the vehicles for recreation. Despite the name All-Terrain Vehicle, however, most ATVs are not designed for all terrains, because certain terrains increase the possibility of an ATV rollover. Even though ATVs are smaller than automobiles, an ATV crash can be just as devastating, causing permanent injury and even death.



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ATV Crash

Although accidents happen in any vehicle, ATV design defects have been linked to serious personal injuries, including crushed limbs, neck and back injuries and even death.

Some ATV rollover accidents are caused by unstable design. For instance, the Yamaha Rhino was designed with a high center of gravity, making the vehicle dangerously unstable. The makers of Polaris (which issued an ATV recall in 2008 due to a problem with overheating) have been accused of not warning customers that the throttle had a propensity to stick.

atv accident

A further issue is that, despite their name, all-terrain vehicles are not actually designed for all terrains. In some cases, an incline might be too steep for the driver's abilities. In other cases, an incline might be too steep for the ATV, regardless of the driver's abilities.

Other problems that could cause an ATV rollover include turning too quickly, hitting a bump or hole, allowing the ATV to roll backwards down a hill (due to lack of speed to get up the hill), driving too quickly for the terrain and riding on a paved road. Furthermore, due to their top-heavy nature, ATVs are not actually ideal for use on rough or uneven ground.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (, studies show that nearly 60 percent of four-wheeled ATV accidents are the result of the ATV tipping and overturning. Such accidents often result in drivers being thrown from the ATVs or pinned underneath them, either of which can cause serious, life-threatening injury.

ATV Accident Statistics

atv rollover accidentAccording to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 699 reported deaths and an estimated 150,900 emergency room treated injuries in 2007 linked to ATV use. The CPSC notes that in 2007, 124 of the reported deaths and 40,000 of the emergency room visits involved children under the age of 16 (information found online at In fact, between 2000 and 2007, there were no fewer than 100,000 emergency room visits and 450 deaths each year linked to ATV use. Furthermore, each year approximately one-third of ATV-related deaths and injuries involve children.

A main issue with ATVs is that they are top heavy and provide little protection for riders in the case of an accident. Making the situation worse is that they are heavy, and difficult for children and adolescents to control. Despite that, many children are allowed to ride on adult ATVs, putting them at risk of a serious injury. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), children under the age of 16 should not operate an ATV with an engine size of greater than 90cc.

Children and ATVs

yamaha rhino rollovers childrenIn 1998, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) released a position statement regarding ATVs (the statement was updated in 2005). The position statement included information about children using ATVs. Specifically, the AAOS argued, "Children under the age of 12 generally possess neither the body size and strength, nor the motor skills and coordination necessary for the safe handling of an ATV. Children under age 16 generally have not yet developed the perceptual abilities or the judgment required for the safe use of highly powered vehicles" (found online at

ATV Lawsuits

In March, 2010, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Yamaha, alleging that the Yamaha Rhino is dangerously unstable and contains design flaws that increase the likelihood of fatal injuries to occupants in the event of an accident. The lawsuit was filed by the families of two 11-year-old girls who died when the Yamaha Rhino they were riding veered off the roadway and overturned. One girl died at the scene while the other died in hospital a short time later.

A lawsuit filed in June, 2009, alleges the Yamaha Rhino was defective and unfit for its intended use. The lawsuit was filed by Krissi and Jason Henry, who alleged the Rhino was used on relatively flat terrain when it rolled over, pinning Krissi Henry's leg. The lawsuit alleges Yamaha was negligent for failing to provide adequate warnings regarding the Rhino.

Yamaha Rhino ATV Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered damages in this ATV rollover case, please click the link below to send your complaint to a lawyer to evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.

Last updated on


ATV Riders 50 Percent More Likely to Die Following an ATV Accident
ATV Riders 50 Percent More Likely to Die Following an ATV Accident
October 6, 2010
Accidents on all terrain vehicles (ATVs), and the likelihood of dying after an ATV accident are more common than motorcycle accidents, trauma surgeons attending the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons reported this week. READ MORE

Washington State Fire Chief Dies in ATV Rollover
Washington State Fire Chief Dies in ATV Rollover
July 14, 2010
Investigators are looking into the death of a Washington state fire chief who was apparently killed in an ATV rollover while fighting a fire. READ MORE

ATV Crash Kills Two Men in North Carolina
ATV Crash Kills Two Men in North Carolina
June 12, 2010
Two men were killed earlier in the week after a tragic ATV accident in rural North Carolina. READ MORE


Posted by

My grandson suffered a broken arm. He was a passenger in an ATV. The driver was an adult. The driver was going slow because a child was in the ATV. He hit a bump and the atv fell over on the passenger side crushing my grandson. Thank God there was not more damage done. After insurance paid my daughter still owed more than $30k dollars. Consumers should be made aware how dangerous these are even at low speeds.and manufacture should be honest and not call the all terrain that is just negligent.

Posted by

After several operations, I received two separate skin grafts on my left leg and foot, harvesting from my groin area. Four months down time, and dealing with the ugly aftermath.

Posted by

Soft tissue injury, "Large Seroma", hospitalized for surgery for three days to drain fluid from leg. Three weeks missed work, pain and suffering from the simple fact all Ranger should have came with half doors from factory to prevent legs from going outside vehicle in a roll over.

I have lots of pictures showing bruising from my knee to my hip, the large seroma which looked like a football under my leg and pics from surgery.

Posted by

My husband has been riding ATV's for years and never had an accident in which he rolled the ATV. He bought an 07 Yamaha Grizzly 660 and had 2 rollover incidents since. Both times damaging the ATV and the last time he separated his shoulder and tore his labrum in his shoulder.

Posted by

About 11 days ago i was at my friends house in laguna beach in a gated community and my friend decided to take his rhino out for a spin..after goiing 2 streets down, about 1 minute after we left his house..he makes a left turn and the rhino flipps. i was in the back right seat with my seatbelt on. The vehicle landed on my upper legs and after 2 tries my friends lifted it off me. once they gpt it off me i stood up and felt a sharp pain in my tailbone.

The ambulance had to come and take me away and after 3 hours with no pain medication they finally got me transfered to a trama center that could look at me. I come to find i fractured my pelvis in 4 diffenent spots. Worste pain of my life. 9 Days later i get released from the hospital and transfered to rehab to learn to walk again.

This is my 2nd day in rehab in laguna hills at saddleback medical center. I have gone through life changing pain all because this vehicle wasnt made good and is top heavy. Im consipated and i have had 3 cathetors put in me in the past week. Couldnt begin to explain that pain.

They say the recovery for this is 8 weeks and ill prolly be able to walk in about 6 weeks. So there goes my whole summer!! I guess i learned a good leson not to get on an atv type vehicle and turn at about 5 mph..cuz i will just end up like this again. i cant beleive something something like this could happen to me right before summer and i woulda never thought i would be paralized. Worste experience of my life.

Posted by

As my Yamaha Rhino tipped over, my left wrist was struck by the roll bar, which shattered my left wrist. I was taken by ambulance to a hospital emergency room, where I was treated and recommended for surgical repair. I underwent extensive surgery at a VA Hospital and had a metal plate attached with several screws to hold the delicate wrist bones together. My wrist still has the metal plate and screws attached which most likely will remain there for the rest of my life. This is a constant source of pain during the colder winter months. However, through extensive physical therapy, I did regain most of the mobility of my wrist.

Posted by

My left leg was pinned between the ground and the rollbar and resulted in my leg being burst open from the impact. I was taken to the hospital by my employer where the doctors performed some minor surgery and inserted around 30 stiches. I was out of work for about 1 week, I was a salesman for them.
I was on crutches for about 2 months and as a result was unable to be agressive to the clients and lost out on a lot of sales opportunites. During rehab the pain was so intense I was unable to move my leg when it was elevated on the couch. I could not get up to go to the bathroom and had to use a portapotty device.

Posted by

Injurys include, compound fracture \ dislocation of right elbow and right lisfrank foot break, 10 days in hospital and 6 surgeries. Childrens Hospital for 6 months of rehab. Life long dammage to right arm. Our daughters were on a rino, our 16 year old was driving made a turn and the vehicle rolled onto the passenger side where our daughter put her arm and leg out attempting to stop the rollover, Emily's arm was pinned under the roll bar compound fracturing her elbow. The same thing happened to her leg.


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