Galveston injury attorneys post news on a scientific research study on ATV riders’ safety concerns received publication in the November issue of Neurosurgery Focus. The IL study, conducted by the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Saint Francis Medical Center, Bradley University, and the Neurological Institute, found that child riders of adult size ATVs don’t possess the size or strength to properly control them.
The IL study found that the lighter weights and smaller “wingspans” of children under 16 did not give them the required size and weight to stabilize the adult ATVs along lateral, longitudinal, or vertical operational lines. The IL study tested children on a sports model adult ATV and on a utility model adult ATV. The IL study adapted the NHTSA’s J-hook test, brake test, and bump test for the ATV research.
The IL study demonstrated that ATV rider stability and safety depend strongly on the rider’s wingspan and weight. Other safety factors involved include the ATV’s center of gravity, wheelbase design, and suspension design. The authors of the IL study stress that ATV age and speed related guidelines do not adequately address these concerns.
ATV riders under the age of 16 experience a highly disproportionate risk of injury and death from ATVs, 4 to 12 times greater than that of adult riders. The authors recommend that ATVs designed for children should have size and weight limits. And children under 16 probably shouldn’t drive adult ATVs at all. The lack of adequate safety standards and proper operational guidelines lines could prove to be fatal product defects for child riders of ATVs.