- Porter, Jay Williams
The Pulaski County Extension Office conducted a needs assessment to determine the need for ATV safety programming among 4th, 5th, and 6th grade 4-Her’s. The results of the needs assessment led to the development of future ATV safety trainings, as well as to collaboration with the Georgia Farm Bureau and production of an episode of the Georgia Farm Monitor.
According to the Shepherd Center, 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. There is also research that 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. Additionally, in a study conducted by Iowa State, it was found that nearly 75% of students surveyed had access or exposure to an ATV, and that most ATV riders participated in risky behaviors. Very little information concerning Georgia youth and their knowledge of ATV safety exists, and there are currently no comprehensive ATV safety courses offered in the state of Georgia.
In order to properly address local ATV safety training areas, a needs assessment was conducted using data collected from 4th, 5th and 6th grade Pulaski County, Georgia 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. 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. In order to raise awareness about the importance of ATV safety, the agent collaborated with Dr. Nick Fuhrman and 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 Agents work in this field. 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. Additionally, 83.6% of respondents expressed interest in participating in an ATV safety training or field day, suggesting a high likelihood of participation in upcoming programming. In-school ATV safety seminars at future Farm-Day events, as well as hands-on ATV safety training at future field day events have been planned by the Agent. Collaboration with ATV manufacturers and dealers, as well as partnering agencies such as Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Department of Natural Resources will be sought for these events. Additional research in the form of post-training assessments will be conducted in order to determine program impact and the opportunity to improve future ATV safety programming.
- Year: 2020
- Geographic Scope: State
- County: Pulaski
- Location: College Station, Athens
- 4-H Youth
- Agriculture & Natural Resources