Many folks all across the U.S. turn to ATV riding as a fun summertime activity. Unlike motorcycles, OHVs, or off-highway-vehicles don't require a license and can be ridden within the confines of private property. The result of this generally unregulated means of mobility can sometimes, unfortunately, result in accidents. 

Oklahoma, in particular, ranks third in the U.S. for highest OHV fatalities, with an article by KOSU stating that 13 fatalities this year alone have already occurred. What's even worse is that 90 percent of ATV accidents in Oklahoma involve younger people, usually under the age of 16. The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital explains that the main cause of these accidents is kids riding ATVs that are too big and too powerful for them. Now, in response to the number of accidents surrounding kids and OHVs, the Oklahoma State University's Extension Office is now offering the ATV Youth Riders Course, sponsored by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. 

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In the same article, Jim Rhodes, OSU's former ATV youth safety educator, and current district program specialist, highlighted the importance of riding an ATV that's the right size for you. “When you're riding an ATV, your weight shift is what can help control and keep the tires on the ground,” he stated. “If you're riding one that's too big for you, you can shift your whole body if you want to, but it's not going to keep that tire on the ground. So we teach about braking, throttle and weight shift to maintain control of that ATV.”

The training program is designed to teach students the fundamentals of control when it comes to four-wheeled off-roaders, both theoretically and practically. It includes a two-hour online course, and a two-hour practical ATV riding class, and is certified by the ATV Safety Institute. The online course can be taken in the comfort of the kids' homes, and gives a comprehensive breakdown of how to operate an ATV, as well as the authorized areas for using these four-wheeled off-roaders. As for the practical side, ATV training sessions will be held at the Oklahoma Farm Bureau training facility in Guthrie. 

The Oklahoma State University Extension Office doesn't just offer the training sessions this summer either. Courses are offered year-round, and are open to youngsters aged 10 to 18 years. The office welcomes interested individuals and parties to visit the training facility in Guthrie, as well as to get in touch with team members Jim Rhodes ( or Ravyn Bevard ( Furthermore, information regarding the training courses is available on the Oklahoma State University's website, linked below.

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