Story in Brief
in 2014, ATV accidents caused an estimated 674 deaths, and in 2015, there were over 97,000 ATV-related, emergency department-treated injuries in the United States. An estimated 28 percent of these involved children younger than 16 years of age. Research suggests that youth are at a disproportionately higher risk of injury when using an ATV and that young age and lack of appropriate safety equipment and training were major risk factors for the likelihood of severe ATV-related injury. To properly address local ATV safety training areas, the Pulaski County Extension agent conducted a needs assessment using data collected from 4th, 5th and 6th grade 4-Her’s. The assessment focused on proper ATV size, helmet usage, riding with or as a passenger, on-road usage, and safe riding techniques. The needs assessment found a low level of ATV safety knowledge, and a prevalence of risky behavior when operating ATV’s by Pulaski County 4-Her’s, demonstrating several areas of rider safety which could greatly benefit from increased training and education. Criteria for future ATV programming was established using the results of the needs assessment. ATV Safety seminars and field days were planned, but canceled due to the Covid -19 pandemic. To raise awareness about the importance of ATV safety, the agent collaborated with the Georgia Farm Bureau to produce and film a segment focused on ATV safety for the Georgia Farm Monitor. The ATV Safety segment on the Georgia Farm Monitor was broadcast on GPTV and RFDTV, reaching an estimated 2 million viewers, raising awareness of the importance of ATV safety, as well as of the agent's work in this field.