Apr 09, 2024

DHR HEALTH Level 1 Trauma Center and Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office to offer free, community ATV Injury Prevention course

Apr 09, 2024

DHR HEALTH Level 1 Trauma Center and Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office to offer free, community ATV Injury Prevention course

Edinburg, Texas: In just the last few years, the Rio Grande Valley region has experienced a significant increase in ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) and UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) accidents and fatalities. Taking a proactive approach to address the issue, DHR Health Level I Trauma Center is collaborating with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office to offer a free, hands-on ATV Injury Prevention Course for interested members of the community. The aim of the course is to equip ATV riders with the necessary skills and knowledge to prevent accidents and tragedies.

“Since 2018 DHR Health has seen a 183% increase in ATV accidents,” said Dr. Jeffrey Skubic, Medical Director of DHR Health Level 1 Trauma Center. “We can’t simply stand by and allow these accidents to occur. By offering this safety course, we aim to educate and empower riders with the knowledge and skills they need before riding an ATV.”

In accordance with the standards set by the ATV Safety Institute, the ATV Injury Prevention Course must be completed in two parts. The first part involves a two-hour eCourse available for free at www.atvsafety.org. Topics covered by the eCourse include the use of protective gear (like DOT-compliant ATV helmets), environmental concerns, and riding strategies. Upon completion of the eCourse, a certification of completion will be sent to the participant, who must then upload their certificate to https://form.jotform.com/DHRInjuryPrevention/ATVsafetyregistration in order to take the free ATV Riders Course hands-on training. The hands-on portion of the course offers participants an opportunity to practice basic riding skills in a controlled environment with a licensed ATV Safety Institute Instructor as well as officers from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office assisting with the course.

“Our duty is to not only treat and heal wounds but to also do what we can to help prevent them. The implementation of this free ATV Injury Prevention Course, and our partnership with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, reflect DHR Health’s commitment to proactive community health initiatives. It is through education that we strive to reduce ATV accidents and save lives,” added Dr. Skubic.

The first hands-on ATV safety session will be held on April 13, 2024. If interested in participating in the course, after completing the required eCourse and registration, an Instructor will contact the participant with further course details.

Registered participants are required to take the following:

  • Personal ATV
  • A helmet that is Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant
  • Goggles or a face shield
  • Gloves
  • Long sleeved shirt and pants
  • Over-the-ankle boots
  • The owner's manual for the ATV
  • Light snack and bottled water (optional)

DHR Health Level I Trauma Center, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office and the ATV Safety Institute encourage all ATV owners and riders to follow the “Golden Rules” of ATV Safety, which include:

  • Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
  • Never ride on paved roads, except to cross when safe and as permitted by law.
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV designed for two people.
  • Ride an ATV that’s right for your age.
  • Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
  • Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.

For additional questions, please contact the Injury Prevention Division at (956) 362-6285 or by email at [email protected].