If you’ve visited the Stone Mountain Park area, you may have seen
of ridden on a “Ride the Ducks” land and water vehicle. These amphibious boats are created to resemble
the land/water vehicles used by the United States Army during World War
II and offer tours of various cities throughout the United States. The
tour typically begins on land, but at some point during the ride will
enter a nearby body of water to tour from a more exciting view of the
city. Operators of the Ride the Ducks vehicles also serve as high-spirited
tour guides, many times dancing to music and entertaining guests along the ride.
The experience itself is an entertaining way to explore a new city, but
the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating these Ride the
Ducks tour vehicles due to a crash that occurred in Seattle on Thursday.
Four people lost their lives when one of the duck boat vehicles crossed
into oncoming traffic into their charter bus while traveling over a bridge
during a tour on Thursday. Investigators have confirmed that an axle on
the amphibious boat automobile was sheared off, but it is still unclear
whether this occurred before or during the crash. Witnesses have been
quoted as seeing the boat’s tire “lock up” as it swerved
into an oncoming traffic.
Unfortunately, the recent Seattle crash isn’t the only Ride the Duck
lawsuit. In 2010, a duck boat touring Philadelphia was struck by a barge
while in the Delaware River, killing two. Another crash occurred in Seattle
in 2011 when a duck boat ran over a
motorcyclist and dragged him for some distance.
Due to the growing number of crashes involving the Ride the Ducks vehicles,
many are questioning the safety of the tour vehicles. While they offer
abundant enjoyment for a relatively low monetary cost, the dangers associated
with riding these vehicles may be more than they’re worth.
In the event that a member of the duck boat tour or another party is injured
as a result of these questionable vehicles, legal action may be taken
by victims. We hope that our local Stone Mountain Ride the Ducks program
will continue to have a safe record, but ask that visitors of these attractions
be cautious and make sure that drivers are paying adequate attention to
the roadway during the tour.