4-H ATV Youth Safety
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Since accidents happen to people riding ATVs, all riders (in particular youth) and parents need to be educated about safe operation of ATVs before they climb on board.

The 4-H Community ATV Safety Program 2005 youth grant program will provide community action grants of $7,500 to
4-H/Extension groups
to create or enhance local or state ATV safety projects which provide opportunities for young people and adults to take action on the issue of ATV safety to influence the behavior of people throughout a community. Youth are expected to lead in the design of the project, the proposal writing process, the implementation, and the evaluation of funded projects. Adults work with youth, providing guidance and support. A 50% match of the grant request in the form of cash and/or in-kind contributions is required.

Funding is provided by American Honda Motor Company, Inc. and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. Grants are offered only to 4-H/Extension Programs in the United States. If you are not a part of 4-H, we encourage you to contact your local Cooperative Extension office and become a project collaborator!

Projects must support achievement of overall Program goals:
  • To educate and inform pre-teen, teen, and adult ATV riders about safe riding techniques and practices.
  • To help pre-teens and teens increase their critical thinking and life skills as well as enhance their abilities to assess risk and solve problems regarding the use of ATVs by youth under the age of 16 years.
  • To educate parents and other caregivers to protect young riders through supervision and monitoring.
  • To help communities address issues related to safe use of ATVs.

Proposals must detail:
  • evidence of youth/adult partnerships in designing and implementing activities that foster the Essential Elements of 4-H in Youth: belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.
  • expected youth/adult/community reach and impact for educational sessions in three timeframes: less than one hour, one to four hours, and more than four hours.
  • how sites will use the ATV Adventures! Fit To Ride Leaderís Guide and other Program educational materials in conducting their project.

ATV Adventures! Fit To Ride
Curriculum Preview
The ATV Adventures! Fit To Ride Leaderís Guide was developed to help youth and adult leaders teach young people about all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety. Originally developed in Japan for farm use, both three- and four-wheeled ATVs were first manufactured for sale to U.S. consumers in the 1970s. It is no longer legal for U.S. companies to manufacture three-wheeled ATVs, since they were deemed more unstable than four-wheeled vehicles. However, many three-wheeled ATVs are re-sold in the United States each year.

Today, millions of people ride ATVs for work or recreation. Since accidents happen to people riding ATVs, riders need to be educated about safe operation of ATVs before they climb on board. Taking risks on a motorized vehicle can lead to death or injury. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission 2003 Annual Report: All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)-Related Deaths and Injuries, more than 5,200 ATV-related deaths have occurred since the early 1980s.

This Leaderís Guide is not intended to be used in place of a certified riding course, such as the one offered by the ATV Institute (ATV RiderCourse). It is intended to be used with audiences that have never ridden ATVs or those that are actively riding, whether trained or not, and need reinforcement regarding safe practices.

How Can This Book Help Keep Riders Safe?

In the Leaderís Guide, we focus on the socially normal behavior of safely riding ATVs. This helps youth understand that itís normal to be well trained, wear safety gear, ride at appropriate speeds, and avoid risks. Our Leaderís Guide emphasizes safety issues while enhancing the abilities of participants to think critically and assess risk more successfully.

The educational messages in this book also are targeted at parents, guardians, and caregivers. Parents care for their children, but may not fully understand the danger inherent in the activities they allow. Adults need to carefully supervise young riders, ensure they are wearing proper safety equipment, and follow other protective measures. Parents and caregivers should not underestimate the risks of riding improperly or overestimate the skills of young riders.

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