Dangers of Polaris Off-Highway Vehicles
Polaris Industries Inc. is a Minneapolis-based manufacturer of snowmobiles, neighborhood electric vehicles, and ATVs for active sports enthusiasts. If you are someone who enjoys off-roading and taking adventure drives, pay close attention to this information.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is a recall on two models of the popular Polaris recreational off-highway vehicles. Per the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, riders should stop using the popular model of ROV and contact Polaris immediately. The model-year 2016 Polaris RZR XP Turbo and RZR XP 4 Turbo ROV purchased at nationwide dealers between August 2015 and August 2016 need to be returned.
Contacting the product manufacturer and returning any vehicle experiencing a safety recall is an excellent option. However, before you reach out to the manufacturer directly, it may be wise to consult with a legal team. While the product manufacturer most assuredly has your safety in mind, you may be entitled to remuneration above and beyond simply getting your vehicle repaired.
Consumer Product Incidents
With the Polaris flaw, the engine on many models of this popular ROV can overheat rapidly and the turbo system’s drain tube can come loose, easily causing a fire should start. There are currently 19 reports of fires. Of those 19, six resulted directly in burn injuries. One fire, which occurred in Utah’s American Fork Canyon, destroyed 15 acres of forest land, and also caused severe burn damage on a young child.
Nearly 13,000 ROVs, including 2, 230 recreational off-road vehicles had been recalled by December of 2015. The popular model which was most imminently impacted by the safety defect all has ‘RZR printed on the right and left fenders or the rear box. The word ‘Turbo” is on the hood or either front fender and the word ‘Polaris’ is stamped onto the front grille.
The safety commission reports that at least 900 deaths over a 4-year period have been related to all-terrain vehicles or from ATVs ridden on paved roads or parking lots. In that same time period, nearly 490,000 injuries and up to 3,000 deaths related to ROVs and ATVs were reported.
Any ROV enthusiast should always remember to put safety first. Riders need to have protective gear which includes gloves, boots, protective eye gear and helmets. In addition, long-sleeved shirts, long pants to protect from road rash or fire and seat belts are essential. Most ATVs are designed for only one rider. However, if there are more than one rider participating, riders should never have more riders than seats.
Additionally, children should not be riding ROVs unless their feet can touch the floor in a seated position. No rider under age 16 should ever drive an adult vehicle. Many states offer training courses for off-road vehicles and it is a good idea to attend one of them before starting off on your ROV or ATV adventure.
Polaris RZR Recall
Polaris recently had a product recall for their RZR Turbo vehicles. If you own an RZR Turbo vehicle and have not yet checked the safety of it, search the VIN of your vehicle here. Information is power and once you have the right information our legal team is here to support you in getting justice for any negative impact this product recall has had on you or your family’s life.
Traumatic Brain Injury and ATVs
In 2007, an estimated 150,000+ people went to the emergency room for an ATV-related injury. In 2006, reported ATV-related deaths totaled 750 and in 2005, there were 805. One of the most damaging injuries you can sustain from an ATV accident is traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can occur when an ATV rider hits their head in a crash, accident, or rollover. Often, with TBI, the person who experienced the crash may not even seem like they were injured. Some other non-fatal ATV injury problems can include neck injury, fracture or dislocation; neurologic injuries and spinal cord damage.
People injured in any non-fatal ATV accident can sometimes suffer catastrophic and life-changing medical issues. ATV injury treatment can be extensive and costly. For many spinal cord, head, or traumatic brain injuries, there is often extensive ongoing rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Causes of ATV Accidents
When an ATV flips or rolls, both driver and passenger can be thrown from the vehicle and even pinned down by it. Most people fail to remember that ATVs are not designed to carry passengers in the back. Doing so puts both the vehicle operator and riders at an increased risk for an accident – both fatal and non-fatal. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration cites the fact that ATVs lack the general stability of other types of vehicles, and are not to be driven on regular paved roadways.
Many ATV accidents are caused because an underage driver is driving the vehicle. Younger people often lack the cognitive abilities, physical strength, and fine motor skills to properly operate ATVs. This increases their risk for injury. Studies show that younger ATV riders have more severe injuries and more head injuries than any other age group.
Even though there are safety laws in place. The fact remains that serious non-fatal ATV injuries and even death can still occur. Treatment for ATV injuries is often extensive, costly and can include long rehabilitation times. Some of the damage that can occur due to ATV injury are:
– Physical damage
– Emotional damage of both the victim and their family
– Mental Impairment
If TBI is involved, it may require a lifetime of extensive rehabilitation, chronic care and the use of expensive assistive technologies; such as alternative and augmentative communication devices.
Get a Free Evaluation of Your ATV Injury Case
Most Polaris ROVs operate safely and do not require any compliance with the safety recall. However, there are certain models of ROVs which when subjected to certain conditions (i.e. slow speeds, intermittent use, high ambient temperatures or heavy engine loading) may generate sufficient heat to pose a significant fire hazard. Polaris has been contacting all known purchasers directly. Despite this, it is always a good idea to check the model of Polaris ROV you use and it may be wise to consult with a lawyer.
Insurance companies or product manufacturers often are more interested in handling an inquiry or claim as rapidly and economically as possible. Either entity is also capable of dismissing a case or incident. Remember: insurance companies or product manufacturers are not on the side of the consumer. They often are large companies which are more interested in their profit margins and bottom line than in your well-being or repairing any damages you or your family incurred.
Our Firm Can Help You
The Birmingham lawyers with Pittman, Dutton & Hellums are able to stand up for your rights, protect your family, and help you earn the true compensation which will better you and your family’s life.
Let us help you navigate the terrain of filing a safety recall claim. Our job, at Pittman, Dutton & Hellums, is to build the strongest case possible and be your legal voice. To learn more about how the Birmingham lawyers at Pittman, Dutton & Hellums can help, call (205) 900-4188 today or complete the contact form on this page.