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Making the message meaningful: a qualitative assessment of media promoting all-terrain vehicle safety
  1. Maria Brann1,
  2. Samantha Hope Mullins2,
  3. Beverly K Miller2,
  4. Shane Eoff2,
  5. James Graham2,
  6. Mary E Aitken2
  1. 1Communication Studies and ICRC, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
  2. 2Center for Applied Research and Evaluation, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Injury Prevention Center, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Maria Brann, Communication Studies and ICRC, West Virginia University, 108 Armstrong Hall, Box 6293, Morgantown, WV 26506-6293, USA; maria.brann{at}


Background Millions of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) are used around the world for recreation by both adults and youth. This increase in use has led to a substantial increase in the number of injuries and fatalities each year. Effective strategies for reducing this incidence are clearly needed; however, minimal research exists regarding effective educational interventions.

Objective This study was designed to assess rural ATV riders' preferences for and assessment of safety messages.

Methods 13 focus group discussions with youth and adult ATV riders were conducted. 88 formative research participants provided feedback on existing ATV safety materials, which was used to develop more useful ATV safety messages. 60 evaluative focus group participants critiqued the materials developed for this project.

Results Existing ATV safety materials have limited effectiveness, in part because they may not address the content or design needs of the target population. ATV riders want educational and action-oriented safety messages that inform youth and adult riders about their responsibilities to learn, educate and implement safety behaviours (eg, appropriate-sized ATV, safety gear, solo riding, speed limits, riding locations). In addition, messages should be clear, realistic, visually appealing and easily accessible. Newly designed ATV safety materials using the acronym TRIPSS (training, ride off-road, impairment, plan ahead, safety gear, single rider) meet ATV riders' safety messaging needs.

Conclusions To reach a target population, it is crucial to include them in the development and assessment of safety messages. Germane to this particular study, ATV riders provided essential information for creating useful ATV safety materials.

  • Adolescent
  • advocacy
  • ATV
  • child
  • community
  • formative evaluation
  • legislation
  • MVTC
  • public health
  • qualitative research

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  • Funding This work was supported by HRSA EMSC grant number H34MC08514. MEA also received support from NCRR grant number 1UL1RR029884.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the University of Arkansas.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Because this study was deemed exempt from consent, consent for data sharing was not obtained but the presented data are anonymised and risk of identification is low. No additional data are available. Information is available from MB.