ATV Safety Summit: Vehicle Tech Roll-Over Protection - Roll-Over Protection (SVIA)

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Paul Vitrano, Executive Vice-President of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, presented this at CPSC's ATV Safety Summit Oct. 12. ATV manufacturers strive to constantly improve and innovate their vehicles. The pursuit of innovation, however, must be balanced against the imperative to only introduce proven technologies that will not lead to unintended consequences. Innovations also must be considered in the context of longstanding standards, now mandatory, that have been developed through collaboration among industry, government and other stakeholders. The Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) is the American National Standards Institute accredited standards developing organization for the four-wheel ATV standard. SVIA’s Executive Vice President, Paul Vitrano, will discuss innovations that have and have not been implemented, including features in the areas of handling, braking, drivetrain and lighting.

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ATV Safety Summit: Vehicle Tech Roll-Over Protection - Roll-Over Protection (SVIA)

  1. 1. Vehicle Technology:Roll-Over Protection Paul C. Vitrano Executive Vice President Specialty Vehicle Institute of AmericaU.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ATV Safety Summit October 12, 2012
  2. 2. Serious Concerns With Possible Addition of ROPS/CPDs• CPSC and others repeatedly have concluded that ROPS/CPDs are inappropriate for ATVs• Benefits of ROPS/CPDs have not been scientifically proven• ROPS/CPDs likely would cause many unintended consequences, including new safety risks• ROPS are appropriate for alternative side-by- side vehicles
  3. 3. CPSC Conclusions Against ROPS• 1990 Letter to Congress – “inherent limitations that a roll cage with harness or other restraint would impose on the movement required for ATV riding” – “adverse influence on the stability of the ATV due to the increased center-of-gravity height” – “size restrictions needed for use in a narrow environment (e.g., a forest path)” “Commission engineers have not advocated a roll cage as a solution” * Letter from Edward Harrill to Rep. Doug Barnard, Jr., Sept. 21, 1990, at 2
  4. 4. CPSC Conclusions Against ROPS1991 Federal Register Notice • “*P+resently-available data• “The rider . . . must be able to move do not allow an estimate of forward and back and side to side*.+” how many riders would use the restraint system.”• “Thus, the restraint would have to allow for such movement, and the roll cage • “*P+resently-available data would have to extend far enough outward do no allow an estimate of and upward to prevent the loosely- how many injures could be restrained operator from contacting the prevented by roll cages*.+” ground*.+” • “*O+r how many injuries• “The resulting roll cage would likely might be caused by new greatly extend the width and height of the hazards introduced by ATV. . . . [T]his increased size might these devices.” significantly adversely affect ATV utility and may increase the likelihood of collision*.+” “There is no support for a conclusion that the benefits of such devices bear a reasonable relationship to their cost.” * 56 Fed. Reg. 47,166, 47,172 (Sept. 18, 1991).
  5. 5. CPSC Conclusions Against ROPS• 1998 Expiration of Consent Decrees – CPSC staff meetings with manufacturer engineers and outside engineers – New exposure and injury surveys to determine hazard and usage patterns – “Forum on All-Terrain Vehicles” – “to discuss what measures, if any, could reasonably be taken . . . to further reduce deaths and injuries” Commission Did Not Recommend Any Further Design Changes
  6. 6. CPSC Conclusions Against ROPS• 2003 Public Forums on ATV Safety – Overwhelming number of written and oral submissions focused on the need to address vehicle misuse through parental supervision, state legislation and enforcement – Some presenters mentioned ROPS Commission Demonstrated No Interest in Pursuing ROPS
  7. 7. Others Have Raised Concerns About ROPS/CPDs• Rechnitzer (Monash) (2003) – “Simply put, the two types of protective structures modeled *U-bar and T-bar] are totally inappropriate and do not form an effective Rollover Protective System for ATVs irrespective of whether restraints would have been fitted or not. The report [Van Auken (1996)] and analyses conducted convincingly demonstrate that a poorly designed Rollover Protection System is probably worse than not having a ROPS.”• Grzebieta (2007) – “*The Quadbar appears to be an increased risk in frontal rollovers as the Quad- bar may come into contact with the rider when the full weight of the ATV is behind it.”• Zellner (2012b) – *With a helmeted operator,+ “*t+he Quadbar would cause approximately as many injuries and fatalities as it would prevent.” – *With an unhelmeted operator, the device+ “would cause statistically significantly more injuries and fatalities than *it+ would prevent.”
  8. 8. Benefits of ROPS/CPDs Have Not Been Scientifically Proven• No comprehensive, scientifically based, peer reviewed research supporting net benefits of ROPS/CPDs• No evidence that ROPS/CPDs will prevent more injuries than they will cause to such a degree as to warrant their addition (risk/benefit)
  9. 9. Unintended Consequences/Risks• Raised structure/device on/at rear of ATV – Alters center-of-gravity, reduces stability – Impedes ability to dismount to the rear – Potentially impedes ability to remove ATV from top of rider – Potentially interacts with vegetation and other terrain features • Causing crash • Reducing mobility • Reducing utility
  10. 10. Unintended Consequences/Risks• Creates additional hazard during crash – Impact with rider’s body parts, including head and torso • Significant additional risk to un-helmeted riders • Even greater risk with larger ROPS, if belt does not sufficiently retract or if rider is un-belted – Alters and makes unpredictable/different path of ATV during roll and/or potentially more violent roll • May reduce rider’s ability to avoid ATV • May cause contact between ATV and rider where it would not otherwise occur • May increase impacts and/or forces between rider and ATV and/or ground
  11. 11. Unintended Consequences/Risks• For belted ROPS – Compromise rider-activity • Reducing ability to control ATV • Reducing mobility of ATV • Reducing utility of ATV
  12. 12. ROPS Are Appropriate for Alternative Side-by-Side Vehicles• Many SVIA members and others already manufacture other side-by-side vehicles with comparable performance that have ROPS which have low risk in comparison to their benefits when properly used• These vehicles provide an alternative for users who prefer non-rider-active models with ROPS
  13. 13. Questions? Paul C. Vitrano Executive Vice PresidentSpecialty Vehicle Institute of America 2 Jenner, Suite 150 Irvine, CA 92618 949-727-3727 x3119 pvitrano@svia.org

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