Are UTVs Safe?

Yahmaha Rhino. Exponent engineers help manufacturers improve the safety and performance of utility and recreational off road vehicles

Testing for utility terrain vehicles (UTVs)

What was the root cause for increased injury rates among incidents involving utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) — and how do you demonstrate conclusions?

The Challenge

With accident and injury trends for UTVs noticeably on the rise, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission launched an investigation into their design and safety. 

Exponent's MULTIDISCIPLINARY Solution  

The manufacturer of a popular two-seat off-road vehicle was facing legal, regulatory, and product testing challenges, and engaged Exponent to provide objective analysis on the safety of their UTV.

Exponent's Impact

Our experts determined through rigorous testing that when used correctly, an occupant protection system like that found in our client's UTV protects properly belted occupants during riding and would likely protect a properly restrained occupant in the event of a 90-degree tip-over.

Correct use of the seatbelt is a critical part of the UTV-occupant protection system performance. Exponent objectively ruled out engineering flaws and provided evidence on accurate causes for the overall increase in UTV injuries, including behaviors like aggressive driving behaviors, seat belt use avoidance, and failure to wear a helmet.