266723 Got Wheels?--Adolescent exposure to ATVs and their driving practices

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 12:35 PM - 12:50 PM

Charles Jennissen, MD , Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Iowa Children's Hospital/ University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA
Gerene Denning, PhD , Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA
Kristel Wetjen, RN, BSN , Department of Surgery, University of Iowa Children's Hospital, Iowa City, IA
Pamela Hoogerwerf , Patient and Family Centered Services, University of Iowa Children's Hospital, Iowa City, IA
Jeffrey Peck , Coralville Lake, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Iowa City, IA
Karisa Harland, MPH, PhD , Departments of Emergency Medicine and Public Health, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, and the Injury Prevention Research Center, Iowa City, IA
Background: More children die each year in the U.S. from all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) than from bicycle crashes. However, the degree of exposure to ATVs is currently unknown, and most children receive little safety instruction. Objectives: Determine adolescent exposure to ATVs and their operating practices, and teach them key principles of safe ATV operation. Methods: A community-based multi-disciplinary task force developed an educational program which was presented at schools targeting 12-15 year olds. Results: 1,900 Iowa students received the ATV safety educational intervention. 86% reported riding an ATV at least a few times a year and 31% stated they ride at least once a week. Of those who reported having been on an ATV, 94% had ridden with more than one person and 81% had been on a public road. Nearly two-thirds of those riding ATVs reported never or almost never wearing a helmet. 61% with riding exposure had been in an ATV crash (rolled over, fallen off, or hit something). ATV safety knowledge scores increased significantly with the education. 44% said that they were likely or very likely to use the ATV safety information provided, while 36% said they were unlikely or very unlikely to do so. Conclusion: Adolescents in Iowa have a high exposure to ATVs. Most practice unsafe behaviors and the majority have experienced a crash. Most study youth demonstrated a deficiency in some ATV safety knowledge. However, our classroom intervention increased short-term ATV safety knowledge, and a significant proportion felt they would use the safety information presented.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the degree of exposure that children have to all-terrain vehicles in non-metropolitan areas. Discuss driving behaviors of children on all-terrain vehicles that put them at greater risk for injury.

Keywords: Injury Risk, Children and Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been responsible for the analyses of this data and have co-authored publications on ATV safety and use. I have a doctorate in Epidemiology and a Masters of Public Health Degree.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.