Since 2004, hundreds of people have been seriously injured as drivers or passengers in an off-road vehicle called the Yamaha Rhino. Manufactured by Yamaha Motor Company, the Rhino is classified as a side-by-side, which is larger than an ATV but smaller than a Jeep. While this size makes the Rhino convenient for carrying two people and plenty of gear into an off-road environment, the design has proven dangerous to many people in the few years that the Rhino has been in production.
The Rhino is designed with a relatively narrow base and high center of gravity, which makes the likeliness of a rollover accident extremely high compared to other off-road vehicles. Simply turning at a low speed on even ground is enough to make the Rhino roll. As an added risk, all Rhinos previous to the 2008 model year are not equipped with any sort of door. Therefore, a rollover often causes riders’ arms and legs to swing out of the vehicle and become crushed under the weight of the roll.
This has led to serious injuries, including broken bones, amputation, and in several cases, death. Both children and adults have been harmed and killed in Rhino accidents. While Yamaha has offered to install free handholds and knee-high doors on all 2004-2007 Rhinos, this precaution does nothing to prevent rollovers themselves. The vehicle is designed in such a way that even careful drivers are at risk for serious roll-over injuries.