New evidence on Quad Bikes
Story Added : 09th March 2011
The findings, compiled by the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety (ACAHS), indicate that almost half of these deaths are the result of the machines rolling over and crushing the victim.
“It has been known for some time that the stability of quad bikes is questionable and that they are prone to rollover” ACAHS Director Dr Tony Lower said.
“Often quad bikes are not the best or safest vehicle for the jobs that need to be undertaken on the farm. In many instances a small ute, side by side vehicle or two wheel motorbike will be a better alternative.”
Previous manufacturer-led research has not supported the use of devices to protect the rider in the event of a rollover.
“This has led to confusion among farmers as to whether rollover protection devices should be fitted or not,” Dr Lower said.
Recent Australian assessments undertaken by independent engineers have called this advice into serious question.
“Many farmers and other organisations have moved away from using quad bikes at all because the risk of rollover has been seen to be too high. Others including agricultural training institutions, have looked at the issues and fitted suitably tested protective devices to reduce risks in the event of a rollover,” Dr Lower said.
“The impact of deaths and serious injuries from quad bikes is significant and I am sure everyone in rural communities would like to see a decrease in these incidents. Based on current evidence we reinforce the message that all owners and operators of quad bikes should take steps to protect riders in the event of a rollover.”
The first step is selecting the safest vehicle for the task that needs to be completed, and if a quad bike is still to be used, then owners should be encouraged to fit a suitably tested rollover protective device to reduce the chances of death and serious injury.
Further information on quad bike safety including a new policy, tested rollover protective devices and rider guide can be obtained from the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety (02 6752 8210) or by visiting the website.