Quad and Vehicle Safety
Farm vehicles, including quads, utilities and two wheeled motorbikes accounted for around 23% of all injury deaths on farms from 2001-2010. A further 70-100 farmers and farm workers are killed each year from road accidents in vehicles on public roads.
Quads are the leading cause of death and serious injury on Australian farms, outranking tractors. There is an average of 14 fquad bike related fatalities in Australian every year. Since 2011, there have been 38 quad deaths on Australian farms (till Oct 2013), with 120 of the 181 fatal incidents since 2001 (67%), occurring on a farm.
While there has been significant farm safety success with the reduction of deaths by approximately 65% over the past 20 years, quad bike incidents continue to rise. For example, in Victoria quad related Emergency Department presentations increased by 41% from 2003 to 2011.1
Farmsafe Australia has developed a Quad Safety Guide for farmers, to help reduce the risks associated with quads.
When farmers are considering using quads for work on farms, Farmsafe encourages the following safety principles:
- Is the quad the most appropriate vehicle to do the job? A farm ute or Side-by-Side Vehicle, can carry loads and passengers safely. Alternatively, a tractor or two wheel motorcycle may be more appropriate depending on the task(s) to be undertaken;
- A suitably tested crush protection device (CPD) should be fitted to the quad bike;
- Always keep the quad well maintained and tyres correctly inflated according to manufacturers’ recommendations;
- DO NOT allow riders under 16 years old to operate a quad of any engine size (kids and quads are a fatal mix). Allegedly “child appropriate quads” also kill by crush/asphyxiation and are present in Australian coronial records;
- DO NOT carry passengers;
- DO NOT carry or tow loads (including spray tanks and trailers). Loads make an unstable vehicle that is “prone to rollover”2 even more so. This adds to the risk of rollover and fatal crush injuries or asphyxiation; and,
- When riding a quad always wear a helmet.
More information can be found by downloading and reading the Safety of Quads and Side-by-Side Vehicles on Australian Farms in the Related Documents section.
For further information on quad bike safety and research please follow the link below:
1 Clapperton A, Herde E, Lower T. 2013. Quad bike related injury in Victoria, Australia. Medical Journal of Australia; 199: 418–422.
2 Olle J. Investigation into deaths of Vince Tobin, Joseph Jarvis Shepherd, Jye Kaden Jones, Peter Vaughn Crole, Thomas James Scutchings, John Neville Nash, Patricia Murray Simpson, Elijah Simpson with inquest. Melbourne: State Coroner Victoria, 2009 .Coroner John Olle (Victoria)