Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Donna Blackburn (Director), Dr. Susan Jones, Dr. Deborah Williams

Degree Program

School of Nursing

Degree Type

Master of Science


All terrain vehicles (ATVs) are a popular source of recreation. For some rural adolescents, ATVs are frequently used for agricultural work. Whether for work or recreation, many adolescents operate ATVs improperly either from a lack of knowledge, poor judgment or they engage in risky behaviors resulting in injuries and fatalities.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has devoted resources to provide ATV safety programs to educate adolescents statewide. However, there are no known studies evaluating the effectiveness of this KDA intervention. Therefore, a pilot study was proposed to determine the effectiveness of The KDA ATV safety program in improving ATV safety knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of adolescents ages 12 to 18.

Following HSRB approval, a pre-experimental one group, pre-test, post-test design pilot study was conducted. A convenience sample (n=18) was drawn from adolescents registered to attend an ATV safety program provided by the KDA. The study was conducted in a south central Kentucky city.

Haddon’s Matrix was used as the theoretical framework using the dual axis approach to injury prevention and injury control. On one axis are the host, the agent and the environment. In this study the host is the adolescent ATV driver, and the agent is the all-terrain vehicle. The environment includes the terrain, applicable ATV laws and societal attitudes toward ATV safety. On the second axis are the pre-event, event and post-event phases. Haddon’s Matrix is a process mechanism in which opportunities to reduce ATV related injuries and fatalities can be identified. It is believed that knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding ATV safety can be positively influenced through effective educational strategies, ATV engineering design changes and ATV law enforcement issues as identified through the use of Haddon’s Matrix.

Descriptive statistics and paired t-tests were used to analyze the data. The analysis revealed no statistically significant changes in adolescent knowledge following the intervention. However, there were statistically significant improvements in ATV related safety attitudes and behaviors.

In conclusion, efforts should continue to prevent ATV-related injuries and fatalities via educational strategies to change behaviors and attitudes regarding ATV safety in communities and individuals. Implications include the need for further research to determine best practice ATV educational strategies that create positive change.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Nursing | Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing | Public Health Education and Promotion