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Safety Experts Push Summer ATV Safety

Instructors teach kids how to avoid injury while riding ATVs.
Safety experts say a fatal ATV crash in Garland county highlights the need for safety awareness heading into the summer season.

Arkansas Children's hospital has seen 40 injuries and one child killed related to an ATV crashes in 2013.

Monday 4-H participants learned four wheeling is fun, but learning how to do it right is serious business

"This is one thing of my job, that I feel I can really save a life in." says Angie Freel, a statewide trainer for the state's ATV safety program.

The effort has reached over 20,000 Arkansans and certified nearly 700 as safe riders since 2008.

"We try to teach people these are machines, they are equipment. They were meant to be equipment for work but people use them recreational purposes and to respect the machine and it could definitely away from you if you don't know what you're doing," says Freel.

It's something 13-year-old Austin Hoffman learned the hard way.

"I had to walk to my house pretty far way and get my dad to help me unstick the 4-wheeler," says Hoffman.

He knows it could have been worse, which is why he wears the right gear, including his helmet, long sleeves and goggles.

Hoffman says his dad taught him the basics but here, he's learning it takes much more to ride the right way and stay safe.

Freel says "If we could save just one more person from being hurt or injured or killed we are doing our job."

The state's ATV program teaches both kids and adults how to ride ATV's safely, an important message in Arkansas which has one of the highest rates of ATV injuries in the nation.
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