Youths operating all-terrain vehicles - Implications for safety education

Shari Burgus, Murray Madsen, Wayne Sanderson, Risto Rautiainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


All-terrain vehicle (ATV) use has increased in recent years. ATV injuries and deaths have also increased, particularly among youth. The authors administered a survey at a National FFA convention to identify safety-related behaviors, injuries, and effects of ATV safety training. There were 624 participants aged 12 to 20 with a median age of 16; 56% were male and 69% lived on a farm. The median age for first riding an ATV was 9. ATV size recommendations were rarely observed; nearly all ATVs operated by youth less than 16 years of age were over 90 cc. Safety-related behaviors were reported as follows: always wearing a helmet (24%), never taking passengers (12%), never riding as a passenger (16%), and never riding on paved road (19%). A small percentage (22%) had participated in ATV safety training; 41% were willing, but 46% said such training was not available. ATV training was positively associated with always wearing a helmet (odds ratio [OR]: 1.72, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12-2.63), never taking passengers (OR: 2.31, 95% CI: 1.36-3.91), never riding as a passenger (OR: 3.02, 95% CI: 1.90-4.79), and never riding on paved road (OR: 1.57, 95% CI: 0.99-2.50). However, training was also associated with an increase in injuries (OR: 1.96, 95% CI: 1.31-2.94), although this effect was not found in multivariable models. It was not known if the injuries occurred before or after the training and no exposure time data were available. Gender differences were found in behaviors and injury rates (males 37%, females 20%). The results suggest ATV safety training improved behaviors. Gender differences in operation, behaviors, and injuries should be considered in training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agromedicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Shari K. Burgus is Education Director for Farm Safety 4 Just Kids in Urbandale, Iowa, USA. Murray D. Madsen, Wayne T. Sanderson, and Risto H. Rautiainen are affiliated with The University of Iowa, Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, Iowa City, Iowa, USA. This project was supported by pilot project funding from NIOSH, grant number 5 U50 OH007548-05, to the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health. Address correspondence to: Shari K. Burgus, EdS, Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, 11304 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale, IA 50322, USA (E-mail: [email protected]).


  • ATV
  • All-terrain vehicle
  • Helmet
  • Injury
  • Safety behaviors
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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