TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Dylan Neimeyer knows how fun it can be to ride an ATV. He’s been doing it for a long time, but he also knows its risks. He’s had the broken bones to prove it.

Dylan Neimeyer, a student at Castleford High School, devoted his senior project to helping bring more awareness about the importance of wearing helmets when riding OHVs. (Photo courtesy of Dylan Neimeyer)

He once was hospitalized for two weeks due to a cracked skull and brain bleeding caused by an ATV accident. More traumatizing, his best friend, 16-year-old Jake Kaes, died due to injuries sustained in a separate ATV accident. Kaes wasn’t wearing a helmet, Dylan said.

These life-changing ordeals prompted the topic of his senior school project: bringing more awareness about the importance of wearing helmets when riding off-road. Part of his project has been raising funds to purchase helmets for an off-road safety course scheduled for April 22 in Castleford.

So far the Castleford High School student has raised about $1,000. He said the money will purchase about 15 helmets for the program. He is coordinating with Safe Kids Magic Valley and the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office.

“Wearing a helmet saved my life,” he told News Radio 1310. “They really do help prevent death. There are more people that die without a helmet than with a helmet.”

For about the past five years the sheriff’s office has partnered with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to provide OHV safety courses during the summer, said Lt. Daron Brown. But he said the office is happy to help Dylan with his project by providing a class just for Castleford students in April.

“We want him to have a successful project,” Brown said. “This is the first senior project like this that I’ve seen. I really commend him for it. Every year kids die in ATV accidents because they’re not wearing helmets or because they are riding on roadways that they shouldn’t be riding on. Dylan is putting forth a valiant effort to get some education out there.”

Dylan Neimeyer was hospitalized for two weeks after being injured in an ATV accident. Now he's trying to bring more awareness to the importance of wearing helmets. (Photo courtesy of Dylan Neimeyer)

Brown said people outside of Dylan’s Castleford school project who want to take the OHV safety course should look at the list of upcoming classes on this Idaho Parks and Recreation website.

Dylan says he still enjoys riding ATVs, but he never rides alone and always wears a helmet. He makes sure those with whom he rides also wear headgear.

Dylan will wrap up his project on March 28, when he presents his project to the school’s senior board. The dividend for him will come if he can inspire others, young and old, to always wear helmets when riding an ATV or motorcycle.

“I want more people to be aware of wearing a helmet when riding,” he said. “It’s not just about saving your head, but saving others’ hearts. If you died in an accident, it’d affect everyone close to you.”