Researchers Are Looking Into ATV Safety

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

New study aims to give parents, manufacturers, and young ATV riders information that researchers say could eventually save lives.

Officials say four wheeling is the fastest-growing motor sport, and we talked to a Perry County mother who says her children are among those next in line to start riding.

16-month-old Caleb and three-year-old Connor like to live on the edge.

They venture out to just the edge of the yard, but Mom still can't let them out of her sight.

Leah Combs knows it won't be long before the boys trade in training wheels and tricycles, for four wheelers.

A new study about ATV safety could be finished by the time that happens.

“ATV sizes are recommended based upon age. We think that age is probably not the best, reliable indicator of who fits on a vehicle,” Dr. Andrew Bernard said.

The University of Kentucky study aims to pinpoint how body size and behavior affects young people's ability to control ATVs.

Researchers don't expect ATV manufacturers to take much notice of the study in its early stages, but they say it's a start. Mom says it comes not a minute too soon.

“You can't get your children back, so you have to be safe,” Leah Combs said.

She hopes when she can't keep them as close, she'll know they're having the safest ride possible.

The first phase of the study compares body measurements to ATV measurements to show things like how far kids have to reach for grips and to brake.

Later phases will focus on behaviors like steering and recognizing dangers.

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