Last week, lawmakers passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 which is expected to be signed by the president.
The new law would subject all-terrain vehicles made in China to U.S.-industry rules. The measure would also give the Consumer Product Safety Commission more authority to regulate ATVs.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports in “Chinese-made ATVs add threat to the unregulated industry,” 850 people are killed every year in ATV-related accidents. That means, on average, two people every day die as a result of an all-terrain vehicle.
The article written by reporter Bill Lambrecht points out that Chinese-made ATVs now account for about half of all ATV sales in the United States . The models made in China are often constructed with lower-quality metal and parts. Models made for children may be more powerful than those made in the U.S.
U.S. makers of ATVs supported the legislation, calling the Chinese models unsafe. But some consumer rights groups, citing the number of fatalities and injuries linked to ATVs, say that the measure doesn’t go far enough. It simply protects the economic interests of U.S. manufacturers without imposing greater regulation.
Rachel Weintraub, who is with the Consumer Federation of America, said:
“The legislation creates an equal playing field but not necessarily a safe playing field.”
As Weintraub notes, the playing field isn’t necessarily safe. Because of their inherently unstable design, ATVs, which sometimes weigh more than 700 pounds easily tip over or even roll. Add to this the frequent use of ATVs on uneven surfaces and the vehicles’ high-performance engines, capable of speeds topping 60 mph, and you can see why the numbers of ATV-related fatalities and injuries continue to grow.
As a result of dangerous designs and manufacturing defects, children and adults have suffered brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and amputations and have even been killed in ATV accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured or a family member has been killed in an ATV accident, we urge you to contact Carey, Danis & Lowe. Our attorneys are experienced in helping people injured by dangerous all-terrain vehicles. We will seek compensation for medical expenses, future and other affected wages, disability and other related damages, pain and suffering.
Carey, Danis & Lowe will provide you with a free initial consultation. We can meet with you in our office, at the hospital, or in the privacy of your home.