Determining what size ATV to buy for a child is generally dependent on their age, but researchers at UK say it shouldn't be that way.
Dr. Andrew Bernard says age not the best indicator of how a child fits an ATV. He and Dr. David Pienkowski say it is much more complex than that, they say we need to consider things like the child's arm and leg length to see if they can reach the handlebars and the foot rests. Also their hand grip to see if they can properly use the brake. All those things vary depending on the size of a child not the age of the child.
The doctors have assembled a research team to look into the bio metrics of ATV riders. Dr. Bernard says they hope to help increase the safety of the machines by figuring the fit between the kid and the vehicle. He says some machines are too large, and the general recommendations from the manufacturer may not be specific enough.
They will soon bring in test subjects to monitor just how well they fit on different size ATV's then they will simulate them riding in a controlled environment. They will hook monitors up to the riders so a computer generated image will show how they're fitting on the machine in different scenarios.
The bottom line to is to determine one thing...is age a reliable source?
The research project started about a month ago and the set up phase is almost complete. They hope to bring in test subjects in the next couple weeks. First they'll test those between 12 and 16 years old then phase two will be those ages 6-11.
Volunteers should call 859-257-1231 or e-mail Dr. Bernard at firstname.lastname@example.org.