The Yamaha Rhino is a popular off-road vehicle. It has reportedly been involved in many accidents, including approximately 30 deaths, including two young girls in October. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating utility terrain vehicles (UTV’s), including the Rhino, because of safety concerns revealed by the accidents involving the Rhino. However, the Yamaha Motor Corp., USA insists that "If you operate it carefully and use some common sense and good judgment, it’s a really great product."
Due to certain design differences, UTV’s are not subject to the same safety standards of either all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) or cars. In fact, UTV owners do not even have to register the vehicles, and until 2008, doors were not standard equipment on the Rhino. There currently are no regulatory standards governing UTV’s, as this type of vehicle is considered and "emerging hazard area." According to Yamaha, some of the Rhino parts, such as seat belts, are in voluntary compliance with federal vehicle standards. The CPSC investigation will help determine whether UTV regulations are needed, and if so, what those regulations will look like. Some critics of the Rhino argue that certain design features of the Rhino increase the risk of tipping over, which has led to a number of accidents and injuries.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident involving an ATV or UTV, such as the Yamaha Rhino, contact Sheller, P.C. The lawyers at Sheller have many years of experience successfully representing people injured in vehicle accidents, including injuries caused by vehicle rollovers and design defects.