How we share essential ATV safety information with kids and parents
In 2010, the hospital admitted a steady stream of patients with injuries due to all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) into the Pediatric Medical Rehabilitation Unit. As a result, we determined that we had to do something to prevent Oklahoma children from being injured on ATV’s. We formed a partnership with OU Health Trauma Services and the Oklahoma State Department of Health to form ATV Ride Safe Oklahoma, which is led by Bethany Children’s Health Center. Together, we provide safety education and injury prevention information for the operation of all-terrain (ATVs) through classroom ATV safety education, the ATV Safety Institute ATV safety online E-Course and the hands-on ATV Safety Institute ATV RiderCourse training. The target audiences include youth in both rural and urban communities/schools, families and youth organizations across Oklahoma.
With licensed instructors, ATV Ride Safe Oklahoma delivers the ATV Safety Institute ATV RiderCourse statewide. This course is a 4-5 hour hands-on program that offers both youth and adults an opportunity to increase their safety knowledge and to practice basic riding skills in a controlled environment. The hands-on course includes pre-ride inspections, starting and stopping, quick turns, hill riding, emergency stopping/swerving and riding over obstacles. Participants also learn about protective gear, local regulations, places to ride and environmental concerns.
ATV Ride Safe Oklahoma is incredibly blessed to have one of the nation’s leading ATV Safety advocates on their team. Mike Klumpp has been educating kids and adults about ATV safety since the 1970’s and has a true passion for keeping kids safe. He has been a certified instructor through the ATV Safety Institute since 1987, and has been instrumental in developing ATV safety programs and curriculums at both the local and national level ever since.
Mike’s knowledge and experience are unparalleled, but his passion for ATV safety is what makes him so special. “There are not enough hours in a day,” Mike says. “Every day there is someone going to the hospital with an injury from an ATV or side-by-side crash in Oklahoma. We’re trying to reduce those serious injuries and wake parents up to the fact that ATVs are not toys – they are motorized vehicles that can be very dangerous.”
Here are some hard facts related to ATVs:
- Serious ATV injuries affect more than 100,000 people each year in the United States.
- Oklahoma averages between 18-24 ATV-related deaths each year.
- In 2020 Oklahoma ranked 10th in the nation in ATV, UTV and ROV deaths with 23 media reported deaths as presented by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).
- Oklahoma has one of the nation’s highest rates of injury for those 16 and under. Close to 90% of ATV crashes in Oklahoma occur with drivers under age 16 driving an adult sized ATV.
- Over a seven-year period, 737 patients were admitted to the OU Health’s Trauma Services with ATV-related injuries.
- Wearing the proper gear and consistent use of helmets could reduce ATV-related deaths by an estimated 40% or more and non-fatal head injuries by over 60%.
Read one teen’s powerful story of his ATV injuries, extensive rehabilitative treatment and the message he shares with ATV riders today here.