Quad bike death rate not dropping

27 Jan, 2015 01:00 AM
Students at Tocal Agricultural College, NSW, are shown how to ride quad bikes.
Quads are prone to rollover, and when they do they kill and maim people
Students at Tocal Agricultural College, NSW, are shown how to ride quad bikes.

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."

Neil Lyon

Neil Lyon

is the national machinery writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


27/01/2015 4:37:49 AM

Quads already have notices stating children must not ride them. If they do then it is something their parents must live with. Saying that, I rode thousands of km's on a full size quad as a child an never had a problem. From Tony's figures only a handful of people out of the hundreds of thousands riding quads died from a roll over. Hardly a huge danger. Facts are farmers rely on quads to produce food and fibre for this country and our exports. How many people died in their bathroom last year? 100? 300?
28/01/2015 10:20:47 AM

Invey -Quads case more deaths than tractors or any other accident cause on farm. In fact road crashes are the only larger cause of death in any Australian workplace. Not sure how bathrooms are relevant. I use one a few times every day as do 24,000,000 other Australians. Glad you never had an issue as a youngster but this is little comfort to those who have lost children on quads
28/01/2015 1:02:46 PM

A handful of deaths per year isn't very many. More rural people die from the lack of a good medical system. Does anyone care? Quads are not an issue worth mentioning, except some people don't want to be responsible for their actions and want to blame someone else. The quads now have warnings for children not to ride them, so don't. Don't try and stop me from riding one because others cannot do it safely.
28/01/2015 1:13:53 PM

Dave would you give a 8yr old child a chainsaw and tell them to go and cut a load of wood without training and supervision? A responsible adult wouldn't and you also wouldn't let a child loose on a full size quad. They can be dangerous in the wrong hands, just like other forms of machinery. A child doesn't have the capacity to understand the dangers, so they shouldn't be riding one. The manufacturer states clearly on the bikes, they are not suitable for children under 16. I have ridden over 12,000hrs on quads and cannot farm without one, they are essential to my business.
29/01/2015 9:30:06 PM

Inve think you may have missed the message from dr. Lower. I have spent 20 years running cattle on the Downs and understand the usefulness of quads, but Lower is encouraging safer designs not!! banning you from riding them. education has little effect on actual outcomes, that is why cars are built safer. It is a bit like saying I"m going to train you not speed. people or people and accidents are going to happen, make the vehicle safer. Sorry would not let an 8 year old near a chain saw. supervision will do didly squat
30/01/2015 12:08:41 PM

'crush protection device' Key words, not a roll bar. Just something on the back the same height as the handle bars.


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