Quad Bike Update Oct 2015
Headline: QUAD BIKE DANGERS CONFIRMED Quad bikes continue to be the most dangerous piece of farm equipment. They are responsible for the highest number of farm fatalities. The University of NSW research project QUAD BIKE PERFORMANCE confirms this and clearly shows this happebns because quad bike’s lack stability Many of the deaths and injuries, which occur when using quad bikes, are caused by:
Those people on it crushed between the quad bike and the ground or another surface or
When operators or passengers are flung onto hard surfaces
The University of NSW research project QUAD BIKE PERFORMANCE PROJECT report released in mid 2015 has clearly shown why quad bikes are so unstable and how this can be improved.
The project critically evaluated, conducted research and carried out testing, to identify the engineering and design features required for improved vehicle static stability, dynamic handling and rollover crashworthiness. It included the evaluation of operator protective devices and accessories.
The Facts: Of the 109 off road fatalities between 2000 & 2011 considered by the research:
78% of the work related fatalities were 50 years or over 50 years of age
9% of recreational riders fatalities were 50 years or over 50 years of age
59% of farm workers died from a chest injury and 13% from a head injury
49% of recreational riders died from head injuries. This was their main cause of death
22% of the 109 who died were wearing a helmet.
The report recommends the development of a Vehicle Star Rating system for quad bike and Side-by-Side vehicles (SSVs) so consumers purchasing vehicles or accessories are informed that vehicles with higher star ratings will represent a lower risk of rollover and hence have a lower potential for injury.
The researchers recommend the Vehicle Star Rating should be listed at point of sale. The rating sticker should be placed on the vehicle, and ratings presented online as with the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) Ratings
The final Star rating for the 16 tested vehicles is shown below
The report states:
Carrying a pillion (including a child) and elevated loads (e.g. spray tanks) can be particularly dangerous. This increases the Quad bike’s instability and increases the likelihood of rollover as well as reducing the rider's control of the vehicle.
Carrying of relatively small loads adversely affects the stability of quad bikes stability more than that of the Side-by-Side (SSV).
The report also recommends
Wherever possible and practical, the replacement of existing quad bikes with four star rated vehicles should be considered.
Where it has been assessed that existing quad bikes are still acceptable or cannot be replaced then retrofitted of Crush Protection Devices (CPD) or Operator Protection Devices (OPD) should be retro-fitted to existing on-farm Quad bikes. It is noted the CPD or OPD are likely to offer a net safety benefit in slow speed crashes typical of most farm use.
Where children are carried as passengers in SSVs, an age appropriate standard- compliant child restraint or similar to that used for passenger vehicles should be required, for the same reasons that current adult three point restraints in road vehicles are not appropriate for children.
Mandating wearing of a suitable standard-compliant helmet that is comfortable for workplace use, yet offers protection against head impact and thermal loading
Farms / workplaces to select the safest vehicle best suited to the task and workplace.
Access roads on farms and the terrain over which quad bikes travel should be speed limited taking into consideration the vehicle’s dynamic handling characteristics.
Workplace areas that are inappropriate or hazardous for quad bikes to travel over should be identified, marked out and sign posted using reliable low cost methods. All users should be informed of no-go areas
On 3rd August 2015 the Queensland Coroner released his report into his inquest of eleven quad bike fatalities. The coroner noted: quad bikes are:
ABC Television LandlineOn the Safe Side 25 July 2015
The Farmsafe Australia resource “Safety of Quad and Side-by-Side Vehicles on Australian Farms” www.farmsafeorg.au
View a video on the safe operation of quad bikes at http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/999501#toc1