Young Riders Not Big or Heavy Enough to Ride ATVS

The disproportionate percentage of injuries and deaths suffered by young riders on adult All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) illustrates the risks of this mismatch, but a group of Illinois emergency medicine doctors and medical researchers have conducted a study pinpointing one of the causes: young riders don’t have the physique to control adult-sized ATVs.

Researchers from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine, Saint Francis Medical Center, Bradley University; and the Neurological Institute sought to measure how the physical characteristics of riders, including height, weight and fingertip-to-fingertip length (wingspan), influenced their ability to safely control the ATV and avoid ejection. The researchers instrumented two ATVs, a Polaris Trailblazer 250 (a sport model), and a Honda FourTrax 250 (a utility model), to measure a rider’s body position in three maneuvers associated with crashes: the J-hook, the brake test, and the bump. Researchers were studying the lateral, longitudinal, and vertical dynamics in five riders of varying heights, weights, and wingspans, who had average experiences driving passenger vehicles, but no experience riding ATVs.

The study, published in the November issue of Neurosurg Focus, concluded:

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