Farmsafe’s top tips on quad bike safety

You’ve probably heard that quad bikes are dangerous, but do you know HOW dangerous? 

Here are some quick stats to fill you in:

Already this year seven people, including children, have been killed as the result of quad bike accidents.

Each year, there are over 650 hospitalisations as a result of quad bike accidents. While there is no data on specific injuries, a significant proportion result in crippling disabilities.

The estimated annual cost to the national economy is $204 million per annum. This is without mentioning the emotional toll cost on family and friends of quad bike accident victims.

Since 2001 more than 230 Australians have died in quad bike-related incidents. More than half of deaths caused by quad bikes are a result of a rollover, typically crushing or asphyxiation, which OPDs prevent.

Many of these deaths have been children under the age of 18.

Even highly experienced riders risk death or serious injury through momentary lapses in judgement, unseen obstacles, or any one of the many factors that may cause the quad to roll over.

Be aware of the dangers, and take all available steps to reduce your risk of death or serious injury when riding a quad. 

Install an appropriate rollover protection device (also known as ROPS, OPDs or CPDs), be trained, wear a helmet and NEVER allow children on quad bikes.

Some jurisdictions, including NSW and Victoria, offer rebates on many of the measures listed above. Contact Farmsafe or your State safety regulator to learn more. 

What are the hazards and risks?

The common risks are caused by riders losing control, collision, quad rollover, carrying passengers and loads, plus use of vehicles by riders under 16 years of age.  This can result in:

  • Death of riders and passengers from collision, being thrown from the quad  or being crushed/asphyxiated during rollover – quad bikes often weigh in excess of 300kg
  • Serious and permanent injury/disability
  • Serious legal/financial consequences for landowners and responsible persons

Who is at risk?

The people at risk of injury while driving or riding quads are:

  • All quad riders

As well as:

  • People being carried as passengers
  • Operators under 16 years of age on any sized quad, including those being carried as passengers

What needs to be done to keep people safe?

These are rules and ways of making sure people are safer while operating quads:

  • Consider whether a quad bike is the most appropriate machine for the job
  • Fit a rollover protection device (CPD/OPD) to prevent injury during rollover
  • Only operate quads that are in good repair – perform a pre-operation safety check, paying particular attention to brakes and tyre pressure
  • Only ride a quad if you have been properly trained and know the terrain
  • Do not let anyone under 16 years old operate a quad of any size 
  • Do not carry passengers
  • Ensure that the quad is not overloaded or overbalanced
  • Only ride the quad on farm tracks and areas that have been identified as safe
  • Always wear a helmet

Children account for a significant percentage of quad bike deaths, and quads of all sizes (including those made for kids) have been involved in child deaths. 

NO CHILD UNDER 16 YEARS SHOULD RIDE A QUAD OF ANY SIZE, as they do not have the physical size, strength, coordination and emotional maturity to handle such a dangerous piece of equipment.

Farmsafe Australia

Farmsafe Australia

The Farmsafe Australia network is interested in protecting the health and safety of farmers, workers, family members and visitors to farms.

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