All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have many uses and promise new adventures to young and old alike. But ATVs are not toys and riding one can be a potentially hazardous activity, especially for young people.
Since 1982 the United States has reported 2,000 ATV-related deaths. With more than 50 of these fatalities in Ohio, this state ranks twelfth in the nation for ATV accidents.
Yearly, an estimated 40,000 emergency-room cases are reported nationwide; 40 percent of these injuries were to children less than 16 years of age. The state has developed strategies and programs to reduce injuries and deaths related to careless, inappropriate and risky ATV use.
The goal of the 4-H Community ATV Safety Program is to increase the practice of safe behaviors and attitudes among the youth who operate ATVs. Additional emphasis must be placed on helping adults make informed decisions about whether or not young people in their care should operate an ATV.
Safe ATV riding depends on the rider’s ability to recognize hazardous riding conditions. It is possible to determine how safe a ride will be by first evaluating the rider’s personal abilities, the ATV capabilities and then the terrain and environmental conditions.
The Williams County 4-H Youth Development Program wishes to address the educational and training needs of ATV riders, with emphasis on those under age 18 by offering a Safety Awareness Course. The course will be held at the Williams County Fairgrounds. Instructor for the course will be Curtis Newcomer of Bryan. The ATV training will be Saturday, May 9 at 9 am at the Williams County Fairgrounds. Youth attending the course should come prepared with long sleeves or coat, long pants, over the ankle boots (no tennis shoes or steel toed), gloves, helmet, goggles and a sack lunch and drink. Youth are encouraged to bring their own size appropriate ATV.
If interested in attending, please call the OSU Extension office at 419-636-5608.