Summer is prime for riding three-wheelers, four-wheelers, quads and all terrain vehicles yet the number of accidents from them is increasing.

A certified ATV safety and education instructor will present safety tips at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center (Stoneville, Miss.) Agronomics Field Day, July 15.

“Mississippi ranks 12th in the number of deaths resulting from ATV misuse,” said Laura J. Giaccaglia, MSU Interim County Extension Director and 4-H Agent.

Between 1982 and 2008, there were 290 ATV-related deaths in Mississippi, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The most common injuries can be prevented by wearing proper protective gear such as eyewear, riding boots, gloves and helmets.

“A Department of Transportation-compliant or SNELL certified helmet is the most important piece of safety gear an ATV rider can wear,” Giaccaglia said.

Giaccaglia participated in a program sponsored by the National 4-H Council and the Mississippi 4-H program to learn how to train ATV users to become safe and responsible operators. The 4-H professionals spent a week learning ATV safety and performing ATV demonstrations for an ATV Safety Institute instructor. Upon successfully completing the program, the 4-H personnel became All-Terrain Safety Institute Instructors. These certified instructors can now lead training certification programs on ATV safety for youth and adults.

“Field days have been a part of DREC since 1928. This year the planning committee has added several new events, including ATV safety education and an antique farm implements display. We are especially excited to have former Dallas Cowboy D.D. Lewis as our keynote speaker for our catfish lunch,” said Steve Martin, DREC head.

Lewis played as a linebacker for Mississippi State, where he was SEC All Conference and All-American, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. in the B.F. Capps Building at DREC, with the meeting starting at 8:30 a.m. Concurrent sessions on rice/soybeans and corn/cotton begin at 9:30 a.m.

For more information contact Jody Stovall at (662) 686-3216 or jstovall@drec.msstate.edu.