They're fast, they're fun, four-wheelers have also proved fatal!
In West Virginia, on average, a little more than a death a week.
It's the ugly side of this popular pastime that's motivated a couple of parents to teach kids how to stay alive for the ride!
Will Shriver is learning that riding an ATV takes skill.
Will explains, “It teaches us how to make tight turns, quick stops, etc…”
The ten year old just started riding four-wheelers about a year ago. His mom, Marsha, who's a nurse and his dad, john, who's an x-ray technician, are painfully aware of the dangers of these machines.
John and Marsha have started this 4-h ATV safety course. It's a national program, but this is one of the first local chapters.
In addition to riding safety and identifying parts on the machine, there's also a dress code. Helmet, eye safety gear, boots, long-sleeved shirts and pants regardless of the temperature.
This course has been a learning experience for the entire family.
Ryan says, “We used to just jump on in flip-flops, and no helmet.”
These students are learning those days are over.
Will tells us, “If you're not riding 4-wheelers right, you shouldn't because it’s not worth death.”
All materials and guidelines are arranged by the National 4-H Council.