Investigating the lateral stability of three-wheeled scooter taxi due to tyre-road forces
Three-wheeled scooter taxi (TWST) that is currently prevalent in developing countries, is fuel efficient and cheap. It is used mainly for commercial purposes, also as a means of reducing unemployment and tackling poverty. However, the vehicle is unstable and prone to accidents due to its design configuration. The aim of this research work is to investigate the lateral stability of TWST due to Tyre-Road Forces. Therefore, lateral stability equations for three-wheeled vehicle (TWV) were developed and used in the analysis of TWST based on parametric values obtained from static test. The results showed that the vehicle is stable with respect to lateral stability, which is in line with what was obtained from literature, thereby validating the models with the driver alone. However, with two or more occupants the vehicle became unstable. Possible ways of eliminating this instability were discussed. The static test procedure, if adopted and legislated upon, would significantly enhance safety of life and properties of stakeholders in developing countries.
Keywords: Three-wheeled scooter Taxi, Stability Analysis, Safety of life and properties, Legislation.