Enjoying the outdoors on an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) is a popular pastime for many Americans. But while off-roading on a quad is exhilarating, it can also be dangerous – especially for children. And while severe and fatal ATV accidents are sometimes caused by driver error, all too often, these tragedies are the result of defectively designed and manufactured vehicles that should have never been allowed to come to market.
An experienced Child Injury Lawyer, Jeffrey Killino believes the victims of defective ATVs and other dangerous products deserve compensation for their pain and suffering. If your child sustained a serious or fatal injury while riding an ATV, four-wheeler, or quad, please call our law firm toll-free at 877-875-2927 to speak with a top personal injury attorney and learn more about your legal rights.
ATVs Accidents: What’s the Problem?
“ATV” describes a motorized off-highway vehicle designed to travel on four low-pressure or non-pneumatic tires, with a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control. Type I ATVs are intended to be used by a single operator and will not accommodate a passenger, while Type II ATVs are equipped with designated passenger seating located directly behind the operator.
Despite their name, ATVs are not actually safe on all terrains, with roughly half of all four-wheeler crashes occurring on public roads. Thanks to a high center of gravity, quads are notoriously prone to rollover accidents, especially while rounding turns at a high rate of speed. ATVs also lack seatbelts and are equipped with off-road tires unable to evenly grip paved or gravel road surfaces.
As technology has advances, ATVs are becoming ever larger and faster. While this increases the excitement factor associated with off-roading, it also creates the potential for more traumatic accidents.
Kids Account for 1 in 5 ATV-Related Deaths
ATVs come in a range of sizes and speed categories, including four-speed and motor-size categories specifically intended for children over the age of 6:
- ATVs for riders ages 6 and up can travel 10-15 mph.
- ATVs for riders ages 10 and up and ages 12 and up can travel 15-30 mph.
- ATVs for riders age 14 and up can travel 20-38 mph.
Unfortunately, because manufacturers haven’t conducted any studies to determine how fast kids can safely drive, the safety of youth-oriented ATVs remains up for debate. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, at least 15,744 ATV-related fatalities occurred in the United States between 1982 and 2018. Of these, 3,353 were in children younger than 16, about 1 in 5.
It’s very easy for a child to hop on an ATV, push the throttle, and go. But while four-wheelers may appear deceptively easy to ride, operating a quad does require an appropriate level of knowledge and skill. In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under 16―who are too young to have a driver’s license―should not be allowed to operate or ride off-road vehicles.
Common ATV Injuries
Because four-wheelers lack seatbelts and are more likely to roll over due to their size and higher center of gravity, injuries that result from an ATV crash are typically severe and often catastrophic:
- Head Injuries: In addition to seatbelts, ATVs lack a roof, leaving the driver and any passenger fully exposed in the event of a crash. As a result, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries are among the most common injuries reported in connection with ATV accidents.
- Bone Fractures: ATV riders often suffer arm and leg fractures and broken collar bones when they fall from the vehicle or when a four-wheeler rolls on top of them.
- Spinal Cord, Neck and Back Injuries: Riders thrown from an ATV can sustain serious spinal cord injuries, potentially leading to full or partial paralysis. After someone’s been thrown from an ATV, they should not be moved or attempt to move, especially if they complain of pain in their back or neck.
- Internal Bleeding: The impact of an ATV crash can result in internal bleeding and severe damage to internal organs. Because these types of injuries aren’t always immediately apparent, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention after an ATV accident, even if it seems no one was hurt.
- Chest and Rib Injuries: Because ATV riders are unrestrained, they can be thrown forward if the vehicle dips suddenly or comes to a sudden stop. They may suffer rib fractures or other injuries to the chest and upper body if they’re thrown into the vehicle’s handlebars or fuel tank.
Driver error, driver inexperience, and hazardous terrain are all common causes of ATV crashes. However, many accidents and injuries also result from defective vehicles and vehicle components.
In fact, since 2019, manufacturers have issued a dozen ATV recalls for defectively designed and manufactured products, including several vehicles that were specifically designed for kids.
BRP Can-Am Outlander ATV Recall
Most recently, on February 10, 2022, BRP recalled around 1,300 2022 Can-Am Outlander ATVs because of a defective speedometer that might only display half the vehicle’s actual speed. This could cause a driver to go out of control and crash. BRP has received two reports of speedometers not showing the correct speed. No injuries have been reported.
This recall involves 2022 Can-Am Outlander 450, 450 Max, 570, and 570 Max model ATVs. The vehicles were sold in various colors. The model name is printed on the side panels, while the VIN is printed on the frame under the seat in the middle and on the frame behind the right front wheel. They were sold at Can-Am dealers nationwide from July 2021 through November 2021 for between $6,700 and $7,700.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ATVs and contact a Can-Am dealer for a free repair. BRP is contacting all known purchasers directly to coordinate the free repair with dealers to update the engine control module.
Maxtrade Youth Coolster ATV Recall
On February 2, 2022, Maxtrade recalled approximately 141,000 Youth Coolster Mountopz ATVs that do not meet minimum speed limitations for vehicles intended for children ages 6, 10, and 12 years and older or for teenagers, depending on the model. Certain ATVs were also equipped with parking brakes that do not prevent the vehicle’s movement.
This recall involves Maxtrade’s Coolster Mountopz ATVs, models 3050-B, 3050-C, 3125-B2, 3125-CX-2, 3125-CX-3, 3125-XR8-U2, 3150-CXC, 3150-DX-4, 3175-S2, and 3175-U. The vehicles were available in various colors. Coolster is stamped on the handlebar, and the model number is printed in the center of the rear axle. They were sold at Maxtrade dealers nationwide, including ABC Bikes & Toys & Motorcycles, Affordable Excitement, All Star Scooters, ATV Wholesale Outlet, Dallas Power Sports, Dirt Cheap Motorsports, Mopeds & More, Mooney Motorsports, Rebel Racing, Rock City Cycles, Sooner Cycles and Upstate Cycle from January 2007 through January 2021 for between $370 and $1,100. They were also available online at www.Amazon.com, www.Familygocarts.com, www.Killermotorsports.com, www.Superiorpowersports.com, www.Walmart.com, and www.Youthmotorsports.com.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ATVs and contact Maxtrade for a free repair from an authorized repair shop. Maxtrade is contacting all known purchasers directly.
EGL and ACE Branded Youth ATV Recall
On January 12, 2022, EGL recalled around 2,900 EGL and ACE Branded Youth ATVs that do not comply with federal safety standards because:
- Children can operate the ATV above the maximum allowed speed, increasing the risk of a crash that can cause serious injuries.
- The handlebars pose a laceration hazard should the child rider’s body or head impact the handlebars at a high rate of speed, such as in a crash.
- The parking brake does not prevent the vehicle’s movement at the minimum required steepness.
The recall involves EGL and ACE branded Youth ATVs, models MADIX 125 and D110. The vehicle’s name is printed on a label located on both sides of the vehicle. The model number is stamped into the metal plate on the left side, under the rear body. The ATVs were sold as either Age 12+ or Age 16+. The ATVs also have a label under the model number, stating: “This ATV is subject to EGL MOTOR INC’s action plan approved by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.” These vehicles were sold at Triple J Import, AWL Distribution, M Motorsports, and other authorized dealerships nationwide from July 2020 through March 2021 for between $650 and $850.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ATVs and contact EGL Motor to make an appointment for a no-cost repair from an authorized repair shop.
Polaris Outlaw 110 EFI Youth ATV Recall
On January 6, 2022, Polaris recalled around 1,100 110 EFI Youth ATVs because the inner layer of the fuel line can leak, posing a fire hazard. Polaris has received two reports of fuel leaks. So far, no fire or injuries have been reported.
This recall involves certain VINs of Polaris Model Year 2022 Outlaw 110 EFI Youth ATVs. The recalled ATVs were sold in gray/lime and gray/pink color combinations. “POLARIS” is printed on both sides of the vehicle below the headlights and both sides of the seat. “Outlaw 110” is printed on both sides of the chassis. The VIN is located in the left side wheel well. The recalled vehicles were sold at Polaris dealers nationwide from September 2021 through November 2021 for about $3,600.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a Polaris dealer to schedule a free repair, including the installation of a new fuel line. Polaris has notified consumers to stop riding the vehicles and will be contacting all registered owners directly to provide more details about the repair.
CRT Motor Youth ATV Recall
On January 5, 2022, CRT Motor recalled around 100 youth model ATVs that did not meet mandatory safety requirements. Children can operate them above the maximum allowed speed, increasing the risk of a crash that can cause serious injuries. In addition, the handlebars pose a laceration hazard should a child’s body or head strike the handlebars at a high rate of speed, such as in a crash.
The recall involves CRT Motor’s youth ATVs, models DF125AVA and DF125AVB. The vehicles are black, blue, green, green camouflage, pink camouflage, red and yellow. The model number is located on the VIN plate at the lower section of the front of the frame. They were sold exclusively at Motorsports Planet stores nationwide from April 2021 through August 2021 for about $200.
Consumers should stop using the recalled ATVs immediately and contact CRT Motor for instructions on receiving a full refund.
Luyuan Youth ATV Recall
On September 29, 2021, Luyuan recalled around 6,800 youth ATVs that failed to comply with the federal ATV safety standards, including maximum speed limitations and other mandatory safety requirements for vehicles intended for children under 10 years of age.
The recall involves Luyuan’s youth ATVs sold from August 2018 through August 2020 at Luyuan dealers nationwide and intended for use by children ages 6 years and older. However, they were also marketed on Amazon.com to children as young as 12 months of age and on Walmart.com to children age 5 years. The ATVs were available in various colors and had one of the following model numbers printed on the hangtag: LY-ATV-40A, LY-ATV-40D, LY-ATV-40E, and LY-ATV-40I. The brand name was printed on a sticker on the plastic body. The ATVs may also have had a label on the front frame, stating: “This ATV is subject to LUYUAN INC’s ACTION PLAN approved by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on August 7, 2009” or a label on the motor stating: “IMPORTED BY LUYUAN, INC.” Some of these ATVs were sold with GBMOTO or GoBowen branding.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ATVs and contact Luyuan for a free repair from an authorized repair shop.
Venom Youth ATV Recall
On September 29, 2021, Venom Motorsport recalled roughly 600 Youth ATVs that do not meet mandatory safety requirements, including speed restrictions, posing a risk of severe injury or death.
The recall involves Venom Motorsports’s youth electric and gas ATVs. The ATVs have four wheels and were sold in green/white, blue/black, black/orange, and white/orange colors. Venom is printed on the ATVs. The model number is printed on the black plate on the top of the left rear side of the tire. The recalled models include:
- Venom E-Madix, Model #1300w 48V E-A050 Electric
- Venom E-Grizzley, Model #1500w 48V E-A07 Electric
- Venom Mini Madix, Model #110cc HX110D Gas
- Venom Grizzly, Model #125cc ATV HX125B Gas
- Venom Racing Madix, Model #125cc MADIX125 Gas
The recalled ATVs were sold online at VenomMotorsportsUSA.com from August 2020 through January 2021 for between $800 and $1,700. Consumers should immediately stop using these vehicles and contact Venom Motorsports to arrange a return for a full refund.
Polaris Phoenix 200 ATV Recall
On September 23, 2021, Polaris recalled around 13,000 Model Year 2011-2021 Phoenix 200 ATVs because the throttle speed control stop can break and become stuck, posing a crash hazard. Polaris received 18 reports of a throttle stop breaking or sticking, including one crash that resulted in a minor injury.
This recall involves all model year 2011 through 2021 Phoenix 200 ATVs. They were sold in red, blue, or gray and had “Polaris” decaled on the front body and the sides of the seats. “Phoenix 200” is decaled on the side panels. The VIN is located on the vehicle’s front left frame. They were sold at Polaris dealers nationwide from September 2010 through June 2021 for between $3,500 and $4,300.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact Polaris to receive a free replacement throttle speed control bracket. Polaris also notified dealers and contacted registered owners directly.
BRP Can-Am Outlander and Renegade ATV Recall for Defective Steering Knuckle
On June 10, 2021, BRP recalled approximately 4,600 2021 Can-Am Outlander and Renegade ATVs because the steering knuckle can detach from the lower arm, resulting in a loss of vehicle control. BRP received one report of a detached steering knuckle resulting in the rider losing control and crashing. No injuries were reported.
This recall involves 44 model year 2021 Can-Am Outlander and Renegade models. The vehicles were sold in various colors. The model name is printed on the side panels, and the VIN is printed on the frame under the seat in the middle and on the frame behind the right front wheel. These recalled ATVs were sold at Can-Am dealers nationwide from January 2021 to May 2021 for between $8,500 and $15,000.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a Can-Am dealer for a free repair. BRP contacted all known purchasers directly.
CFMOTO CFORCE 800XC ATV Recall
On May 6, 2021, CFMOTO recalled roughly 2,050 2021 CFORCE 800XC ATVs because the electronic power steering (EPS) can malfunction and cause the rider to lose control of the vehicle. CFMOTO has received three reports of the EPS failing and loss of vehicle control. Two injuries have been reported.
This recall involves 2021 CFORCE 800XC ATVs with 800cc 4-cycle engines. The vehicles were sold in orange, blue, silver, and camouflage, all with the CFMOTO logo in the center of the front grille. The model name is printed on each side of the vehicle chassis. Model year 2021 ATVs have the letter “M” in the 10th position of the VIN, which is stamped on the right frame rail under the seat. The recalled ATVs were sold CFMOTO dealers nationwide from September 2020 through April 2021 for about $8,800.
Consumers should immediately stop using these vehicles and contact a CFMOTO dealer to schedule a free repair. CFMOTO has contacted all registered owners and dealers directly.
Kawasaki BRUTE FORCE 750 ATV Recall
On April 22, 2021, Kawasaki recalled around 70 BRUTE FORCE 750 ATVs because the fuel pump retainer plate bolts can come loose, causing fuel leakage over time, which poses a fire hazard.
This recall involves the 2021 BRUTE FORCE 750 4X4I EPS. The four-wheel all-terrain vehicles were sold in camo gray, bright white, and camo. The VIN is located on the steel frame between the right front lower A-arm mounts. The model name and code are printed on both sides of the airbox cover in front of the operator’s seat. The recalled ATVs were sold at Kawasaki dealers nationwide in March 2021 for between $10,000 and $10,600.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a Kawasaki dealer to schedule a free repair to replace the fuel pump retainer plate bolts. Kawasaki has contacted all known purchasers directly.
Can-Am Outlander and Renegade ATV Recall for Wheel Detachment Risk
In December 2020, Can-Am recalled roughly 135 Outlander and Renegade ATVs because the rear wheel can separate from the vehicle and cause a loss of control. BRP received two reports of the rear wheel coming loose and falling off the all-terrain vehicles. No injuries have been reported.
This recall involves nine model year 2021 Can-Am Outlander and Renegade models available in various colors, including red, tundra green, granite gray-octane blue, camo, and yellow. The model name is printed on the side panels of the vehicles. The VIN is printed on the frame under the seat in the middle and on the frame behind the right front wheel. The recalled ATVs were sold at Can-Am dealers nationwide from October 2020 through November 2020 for between $8,500 and $15,000.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a BRP Can-Am ATV dealer for a free repair. BRP contacted all known purchasers directly.
Tips for Safe Off-Roading
If you do allow your son or daughter under the age of 16 to operate an ATV, be sure to take the following safety precautions:
- Ensure all riders wear a motorcycle-style helmet, as well as eye protection, sturdy shoes, and reflective clothing. Bicycle helmets are not appropriate for ATVs, as they lack safety visors or eye shields to protect the face from injury.
- Don’t ride double. Most ATVs are designed for one person, and adding a passenger can make the vehicle unstable and difficult to control creating a risk of the ATV being overturned and someone being thrown or ejected from the vehicle.
- Make sure all riders have taken a hands-on ATV safety course.
- Don’t allow kids to operate an ATV meant for adults, which can reach speeds as high as 80 mph. Their larger size and higher speed make these vehicles difficult for a child to control.
- Never allow night-time riding. Lights, flags, and vehicles should always be used to make an ATV more visible, no matter the time of day.
- Never drive an ATV or any other vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Set a good example for your children.
- Stay off public roads. ATVs aren’t designed for street use and lack the common safety features required of standard motor vehicles. Their tires aren’t designed to grip pavement.
- If you’re looking to buy an ATV, choose one equipped with seatbelts, a roll bar, engine covers, and a speed-limiting device.
Contact an Experienced Child Injury Lawyer
Child Injury Lawyer Jeffrey Killino and his law firm have extensive experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases involving defective vehicles and other dangerous products. If your son or daughter was injured or tragically killed in an ATV or off-roading crash, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-877-875- 2927.