UK Research Team Studying Children and ATV Safety

Lexington, KY – Dr. Andrew Bernard, a trauma surgeon with UK Healthcare, says in his team's lab experiments, young riders operate two different sized ATV's while navigating a computer generated virtual course. What they're hoping to demonstrate is that fitting the child to the proper frame can cut down on rollover crashes.

"We need to fit the frame. We also need to fit the engine power; we need to do both so the industry guidelines need more refinement. But nobody is studying this. Everything you see in the medical literature is basically reports of badly injured kids. That's all that's out there. We need to take this to another level. We've got to be a little more scientific about this."

Thirteen year old Bailey Johnson of Lexington says her virtual trail ride resulted in a challenging but injury-free experience.

"You had to learn to stop whenever you had to keep the dot in line so it was really hard. You had to make sure that you had it right in line with it or it would be wrong."

Dr. Bernard says not everyone is supportive of his team's research. He says some groups are fundamentally concerned that kids and ATV's don't mix.