Pediatric anthropometrics are inconsistent with current guidelines for assessing rider fit on all-terrain vehicles

Accid Anal Prev. 2010 Jul;42(4):1220-5. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2010.01.015. Epub 2010 Mar 6.


Background/purpose: This study sought to establish objective anthropometric measures of fit or misfit for young riders on adult and youth-sized all-terrain vehicles and use these metrics to test the unproved historical reasoning that age alone is a sufficient measure of rider-ATV fit.

Methods: Male children (6-11 years, n=8; and 12-15 years, n=11) were selected by convenience sampling. Rider-ATV fit was quantified by five measures adapted from published recommendations: (1) standing-seat clearance, (2) hand size, (3) foot vs. foot-brake position, (4) elbow angle, and (5) handlebar-to-knee distance.

Results: Youths aged 12-15 years fit the adult-sized ATV better than the ATV Safety Institute recommended age-appropriate youth model (63% of subjects fit all 5 measures on adult-sized ATV vs. 20% on youth-sized ATV). Youths aged 6-11 years fit poorly on ATVs of both sizes (0% fit all 5 parameters on the adult-sized ATV vs 12% on the youth-sized ATV).

Conclusions: The ATV Safety Institute recommends rider-ATV fit according to age and engine displacement, but no objective data linking age or anthropometrics with ATV engine or frame size has been previously published. Age alone is a poor predictor of rider-ATV fit; the five metrics used offer an improvement compared to current recommendations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention*
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Anthropometry*
  • Child
  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Off-Road Motor Vehicles*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results