Identifying Postural Control and Thresholds of Instability Utilizing a Motion-Based ATV Simulator

The high risk of all terrain vehicle (ATV) crashes is directly related to vehicle design, including a high center of gravity, low-pressure tires and lack of a rear differential. These characteristics require "active riding", i.e. rapidly shifting weight and adjusting grip and footing to prevent loss of control. There are two major operator-dependent determinants of stability/instability. One is postural control. This includes effectively shifting body weight in response to vibration and sudden shocks from the rough terrain or to prevent rollovers on inclined and irregular surfaces. A second operator-dependent contributor to instability is a mismatch between the strength and anthropometric characteristics of the rider and the forces, especially point of contact forces and inertial forces, needed to counteract shifts in the vehicle's center of mass in order to stabilize the ATV. Can operator postural control and the thresholds of instability be identified using a motion-based ATV simulator? The simulator will include force sensors on the handle grips, seat and footrests, motion tracking sensors on the rider and vehicle, and a computer-controlled platform designed to simulate vibration, sudden shocks and critical angle changes that could lead to loss of control events. Studies will involve seven (7) adult male subjects, 18-45 years of age, who are experienced ATV operators (>100 hours of operation). The project will measure changes in posture, grip, seating and footing in response to vibration, sudden shocks and angle changes simulating riding on flat, uphill, downhill, and side-hill terrains. Using motion and force measurements, the project will determine threshold values for postural changes, point of contact forces, and inertial forces that would lead to loss of vehicle control.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Research project done at the University of Iowa


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Safety Research Using Simulation University Transportation Center (SaferSim)

    University of Iowa
    Iowa City, IA  United States  52242
  • Principal Investigators:

    Jennissen, Charles

    Rahmatalla, Salam

  • Start Date: 20150101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20160630
  • Actual Completion Date: 20170315
  • Source Data: RiP Project 39197

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01556648
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Safety Research Using Simulation University Transportation Center (SaferSim)
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC53
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 11 2015 1:01AM