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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  • by Mine Location: E.Ky on Jun 11, 2008 at 07:24 AM
    Its not the kids fought its the dumb moms or dads that say sure go ahead a ride it..Come up to Weeksbury Ky and see the 8 to 10 year olds driven the ATV without an adult on the mine road that cars fly up and down on. Up here the dirt bikes and ATV rule the road. When the KSP is called we are told well thats a county matter call them. When you call them you are told it will be 4 to 5 hours for someone comes out by then the scanner are going off and then the parents come out to like hurry put it up don't want to get my 4 wheeler took!! I know there is 3 Floyd Co. Deputies that live within 5 mile of this place but they are told not to come up this way. (edited)
  • by Goebel Location: Lexington on Jun 11, 2008 at 05:15 AM
    Not matter what researchers come up with an ATV is only as safe as the driver.
  • by Williams Location: Hazard on Jun 11, 2008 at 04:11 AM
    Finally someone realizes ATV's shouldnt be choosen by the age. B/c some children are small for there age or some are much larger for there age.
  • by charles Location: lost creek on Jun 11, 2008 at 02:34 AM
    it does't make make a hoot the professors will make the decision to place babies on atv's.this will make every aspect of atv operations okay in the public eyes.the center of graviety makes an atv a death trap it cannot be improved with ant test.the public has already been sold out to the money interest while officals just stand by and let let this death trap kill the babies on our road ways.
  • by Here's A Thought Location: Hueysville on Jun 10, 2008 at 07:24 PM
    Here's a thought....why don't we keep everyone under the age of 16 off of 4- wheelers to begin with. Who care's what the size of the ATV see no danger especially when their parents are nowhere in sight. We don't give them miniature cars to drive up and down the road on where licensed drivers are operating their vehicles, why should we give them smaller ATV's and allow them to do what they want. Also, if it isn't already illegal to ride an ATV on pavement, it ought to be. I see to many kids racing up and down my road on 4-wheelers. Their parents don't have a clue how they operate those machines and if you try to tell them, they get ticked off at you. I saw a 6 year old operating his grandfather's 4-wheeler (on a two-lane road where coal trucks speed by) and the grandfather was on the child's 4-wheeler. When a kid gets killed on a 4-wheeler we should be locking up the parents/legal guardians for negligence.


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