Quad-bike safety this Christmas
With Christmas and summer holidays approaching, it’s time for people in country areas to think carefully about the potential dangers of quad-bikes.
A literature review completed in 2012 found that the fitting of crush protection devices to quad-bikes had some potential to reduce injuries and fatalities.
The review was conducted for the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) by Dr Scott Wordley and Dr Bruce Field from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Monash University. The findings of the initial literature review were reaffirmed in a study completed last month by Dr Wordley.
ISCRR Chief Research Officer Dr Alex Collie said since 2011 quad-bikes had become the leading cause of death on Australian farms.
“Quad-bikes accounted for around one-third of fatalities; with children under 14 years and adults over 45 years the most common victims,” Dr Collie said.
“Around half of all Australian quad-bike fatalities occurred due to roll-over of the bike, which can result in severe chest, head and spinal injuries. The vast majority of these roll-over deaths were also found to occur on farms.”
The review looked at the effectiveness of crush protection devices designed to provide increased protection from quad-bike crush injuries and to reduce the likelihood of riders being pinned beneath an overturned bike.
These devices, including the Quadbar - a padded, hairpin shaped metal hoop which is mounted behind the rider - can be retro-fitted to most bikes.
The review found research disputing the effectiveness of crush protection devices relied on flawed methodologies and assumptions with potential problems and limitations in the computer simulation methods used.
“The review found crush protection devices such as the Quadbar had the potential to reduce injuries and fatalities, particularly those arising from low speed lateral roll and back flip events,” Dr Collie said.
“Further testing and the development of standards for quad-bike crush protection devices are both clearly required. In the meantime, appropriately tested crush protection devices should be considered for riders who use quad-bikes at low speeds in the workplace or on farms.”
ISCRR is a joint venture between Monash University, WorkSafe Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).