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Can Youth Reach Agricultural All-Terrain Vehicle Controls?

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

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100047.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100047)
Authors:   Guilherme De Moura Araujo, Farzaneh Khorsandi, Sami Kabakibo, Oliver Kreylos
Keywords:   Anthropometric dimensions, ATV, Crashes, Ergonomics, Incidents, Youth.

Abstract. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are popular among children for recreational and occupational purposes. However, the increase in vehicle power, size, weight, and speed has made these machines unsafe for youth. A recent study revealed that riders younger than 16-years old accounted for 25% of ATV-related injuries on American farms. Moreover, several researchers identified a correlation between ATV-related injuries of children and their readiness to ride, which mainly comprises anthropometric dimensions and physical strength. Therefore, it is hypothesized that youths are frequently involved in ATV-related incidents because they ride vehicles that are unfit for them. There is a need to assess the fit of Agricultural ATVs for children based on youths‘ anthropometric dimensions. This study focused on evaluating potential inconsistencies between the operational requirements of utility ATVs and the anthropometric measurements of youths through virtual simulations. A numerical computing software was used to assess four youth-ATV reach criteria proposed by an ATV safety advocacy organization (National 4-H council). In total, 14 utility ATVs and male children of three different ages (8, 12, and 16 years old) and three body-size percentiles (5th, 50th, and 95th) were evaluated. Preliminary results demonstrated a physical mismatch between utility ATV operational requirements and anthropometric dimensions of children. The simulations involving children under the age of 12 years old (50th percentile) indicated that they are not able to activate the hand brake of the evaluated ATVs properly. On the other hand, the simulations with 16-year-old males showed that only a small percentage (33%) of the ATVs have enough room for the riders‘ legs. This compromises riders‘ ability to steer the handlebar and control the vehicle. These discrepancies compromise youths‘ capability to ride utility ATVs, placing them at an increased risk of injuries.

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