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Gerene Denning, of the University of Iowa Department of Emergency Medicine presented this at CPSC's ATV Safety Summit Oct. 12, 2012. Objectives: Determine the variability of seat design for adult single-person ATVs. Methods: We measured seat placement and length for 77 ATV models (sports and utility) at dealerships and using a novel image-based method. Results: Seat lengths varied from 20-37 inches with significant differences between sport and utility models and between manufacturers. 75% of all seat backs ended near/over the rear axle. Longer seats generally resulted in shorter distances from the handle grips to the front of the seat (distance range 3.3-19 inches). An incline/decline study showed that a rider going downhill should shift his seat to near the rear axle with fully extended arms to avoid a forward rollover. Leaning forward from a normal seated position is sufficient to keep the center of gravity ahead of the rear tires and prevent a backward rollover when riding uphill. Conclusions: A wide variability in seat length was observed. Seats starting closer to the handle grips allow smaller children to be in front of adult drivers, or allow younger drivers. A shorter seat starting further from the handlebars and not extending beyond the rear axle would reduce the space available for passengers. Seat design is a potentially valuable approach to ATV-related injury prevention.
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