A REPORT by the University of Sydney's Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety has shown there were 15 recorded quad bike-related deaths in 2014, maintaining the 10-year average of 14 deaths per year.
Centre director Dr Tony Lower said of those deaths, 12 (80 per cent) occurred on farms, with a further two involving cases on public roads where the quads were turning into or out of a farm.
He said the information also highlighted the fatal mix of children and quads, with three cases involving children less than 16 years of age.
"There were also at least 86 injuries serious enough to be reported in the media, with many likely to be life-changing, including spinal and brain injuries," he said.
"All of these incidents have a huge impact on individuals, families and communities."
Dr Lower said overall, 60pc of deaths and 41pc of injuries involved rollovers.
"This reinforces the need for design improvements to reduce the risk of death and serious injury when quads roll," he said.
"Part of the problem is that quads have an illusion of stability, but as a Victorian coroner identified, quads are prone to rollover, and when they do they kill and maim people.
"More needs to be done to enhance the safety of the estimated 220,000 quads already in operation across Australia, while at the same time there is a responsibility for operators to ensure the safe use of the vehicles.
"By addressing the design and safe use of quads in tandem, we can make a significant impact on these horrific statistics."
Dr Lower said recommendations to improve safety must start with selecting the safest vehicle for the task to be completed. In the majority of cases that would not be a quad bike.
"However, if a quad is still to be used and given the high rate of rollover incidents, then a suitably tested crush protection device should be fitted," he said.
"This is an increasingly common approach for many farmers and businesses that use quads and recognise their danger.
"Keeping children off quads of any size, not carrying passengers and wearing a helmet are also important preventive actions."