Fuel System Crashworthiness for Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles 2012-01-0988
Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs) are a distinct class of vehicles defined by an American National Standard (ANSI). The vehicles are intended primarily for recreational use and may have secondary general utility applications. The American National Standard (ANSI) for Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles addresses minimum requirements for aspects of ROV equipment and configuration, but includes no discussion regarding the design or performance of ROV fuel systems. The purpose of this study was to: survey pre- and post-ANSI Standard designs of ROV fuel systems; examine fuel system design recommendations and requirements for other types of fueled motive equipment, including diverse types of recreational equipment; and describe the environment in which the ROV was intended and the environment in which it was legal for use. SAE Standards, Recommended Practices and Information Reports for diverse human-operated fueled motive equipment from personal watercraft to motorcycles revealed numerous recommendations and requirements for fuel system design and performance. Observations of the sampled ROVs indicated that known and effective crashworthy concepts and features were not present on some fuel systems. Given the increasing popularity of ROVs, a combination of recommendations are proposed including that individual States discontinue the practice of registering ROVs for use on highways and that those that modify ROVs intended for on-road use adhere to the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs). A new FMVSS is not proposed, but a minimum fuel system crashworthiness design and/or performance standard applicable to ROVs for their intended use should be considered.