Effectiveness of the Indiana 4-H Tractor Program at Instilling Safe Tractor Operating Behaviors and Attitudes in Youth

(Part of Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health)


The purpose of this research was to determine what impact the Indiana 4-H Tractor Program has had on safer tractor operating behavior and attitudes of participants and to provide recommendations for program improvement. To assess the impact, 108 non 4-H youth who reported they operated a tractor regularly were compared with 104 4-H Tractor Program participants. A single skilled evaluator observed each individual in the two groups as she/he operated a tractor through a standard tractor-operating course. Information on recent tractor-related injury history and attitudes toward tractor safety was gathered using a written survey. Results showed that the program has had both a perceived and demonstrable positive influence; however, a need for improvements was also shown. Most significant of the findings was that participants in the 4-H Tractor Program were observed to operate tractors in a safer and more skillful manner. Even though the 4-H Tractor Program participants reported substantially more exposure time to tractor operation, they did not report a significantly different injury experience in comparison to the non-participants. Responses from the 4-H program participants, however, indicated a trend toward having more tractor-related close call incidents. There was no significant difference between the two groups in their attitudes toward tractor safety. Program recommendations developed as a result of the study primarily related to the need for updating instructional material used in the 4-H Tractor Program and the need for additional training and resources for volunteer leaders.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
Access this publication at: ASABE Technical Library

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