Safety analysis of battery-powered ride-on toy car with seat and restraint system modifications

Document Type


Publication Date



Modified battery-powered ride-on toy cars represent novel rehabilitation tools for children with disabilities. However, safety concerns exist with the use of these battery-power toys and pose a barrier for the growth of adaptive ride-on toy programs due to the lack of evidence demonstrating that modifications made to these cars are safe. Within this context, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether modifications to ride-on toys are sufficient to prevent common injuries and determine how these modifications influence injury metrics. Specifically, we evaluated the effects of common modifications such as various seatbelt configurations and determined how increased seat back height effects neck forces. Results indicated that occupant displacement can be reduced using a lap belt, and further reductions in displacement are achieved with a 5-point harness. Although some injury metrics increased with restraints, none of the collected injury metrics even came close to approaching known tolerance thresholds, and most were well within the range that is experienced by a child in daily life. As the greatest concerns for these ride-on toys are related to displacement, findings from this study support the use of a 5-point harness system to minimize displacement-related injuries with little-to-no added risk.

Publication Title

Assistive Technology

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)