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Ability of Youth Operators to Activate Agricultural All-Terrain Vehicles Controls

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2020 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2000598 .(doi:10.13031/aim.202000598)
Authors:   Guilherme De Moura Araujo, Farzaneh Khorsandi
Keywords:   ATV, accidents, children, crashes, ergonomics, resistance forces, youth-ATV fit.


The agricultural community is the largest occupational user of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). The agricultural industry has the highest percentage of ATV-related occupational injuries (59%) and fatalities (65%) among other industries. In addition, several studies showed that youths are involved in 22% of all ATV-related crashes on farms. Moreover, a number of researchers reported a strong relationship between ATV-related injuries of children and their physical, motor, and cognitive skills. Thus, it is hypothesized that youth are involved in ATV-related accidents because they cannot effectively reach or activate the vehicle commands. There is a need to evaluate the mismatches between youth physical capabilities and utility ATVs‘ operational requirements (e.g., reach distances and resistance forces). This study aimed to evaluate potential discrepancies between the resistance forces of several commands of utility ATVs and the strength of children. A handheld force gauge and a pressure glove were used to measure the activation force of the main commands of utility ATVs. In addition, a novel methodology was developed to measure the forces required to measure the braking forces. The collected data were compared with reported values of children‘s strength. Preliminary results demonstrate a physical mismatch between ATV operational requirements and children‘s strength. For example, an average boy under 15 years old was able to comfortably steer the handlebars for only 57% of the evaluated ATVs. The inability of steering the handlebar increases the risk of crashing, since it becomes harder to maneuver the vehicle. The results were even more striking for children under 10 years of age, an average youth was able to push the vehicle away in case of being pinned underneath it for only 33% of the evaluated ATVs. These discrepancies compromise the youth‘s capability to ride the ATVs, which places them at an increased risk of crashes

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