Charles Jennissen
The University of Iowa
Department of Emergency Medicine
Salam Rahmatalla
The University of Iowa
Department of Civil Engineering

Final Report

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Final Report Summary

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Identifying Postural Control and Thresholds of Instability Utilizing a Motion-Based ATV Simulator

In the last two decades, children under the age of sixteen represented over one-fifth and about one-third of all U.S. ATV-related deaths and injuries, respectively. Using Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) fatality data, we found a significant increase in pediatric deaths from 1998 through 2006 - the latest year fatality data were complete. See Figure 1a. We speculate that this increase is due at least in part to the increasing size of ATVs over time. See Figure 1b. More U.S. children die on ATVs than in bicycle crashes.

Over 95% of pediatric deaths involve adult-size ATVs. Current models can weigh up to 800 pounds and go over 60 mph. Just as with other large motorized vehicles, youth do not have the physical or cognitive maturity to operate large, powerful machines safely. Education and enforcement efforts for pediatric ATV injury prevention should strongly focus on getting youth off of adult-size ATVs. However, it is not clear whether injury prevention experts and consumer protection groups should in turn recommend the use of youth models. Manufacturers, not safety experts, have determined ATV standards for youth-size vehicles and there are currently no studies addressing their safety. The lack of these studies also prevents the CPSC from setting evidence-based vehicle standards.

Supporting links:
ATV Simulator Demo