Commissioner's Blog: Quad bike safety reminder
With Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard
With school holidays now underway, parents are advised to be aware of the dangers posed by quad bikes, particularly when operated by children and teenagers.
Quad bikes can pose serious safety risks. Nationally there have been at least nine deaths using quad bikes including two children so far in 2017.
Children under the age of 16 are at greatest risk, so the warning we want to drive home is that the best option is for children not to ride quad bikes at all. If a child does ride a quad bike, parents should ensure that it is specifically designed for a child of that age, the right safety equipment is used and the child has the cognitive capacity to control the vehicle, and any riding is undertaken under competent adult supervision.
A quad bike ride can quickly turn into a tragedy even for experienced adult riders, but children often don’t have the physical or cognitive capacity to operate these vehicles safely.
Many injuries are caused by crushing between the quad bike and the ground or other surface, while others occur when operators are flung onto hard surfaces in a crash.
Quad bikes can readily roll over and cause serious injury or death to operators, particularly when used on uneven terrain, at high speed or when carrying heavy or uneven loads.
Accidents can also happen when the tyres are under-inflated or inflated unevenly or when used incorrectly.
Quad bike owners should follow these key tips:
- Ensure you are properly trained before you ride a quad bike.
- Maintain the bike so it is in safe condition.
- Read the operator manual and observe the manufacturer's safety warnings and recommendations for use.
- Always tell someone of your expected location before leaving for a quad bike ride.
- Always wear a motor cycle helmet.
- Wear protective clothing and gear such as goggles, long sleeves, long pants, boots and gloves/hand protection.
- Never let children under 16 ride quad bikes that are meant for adults – even as passengers.
- Do not carry any passengers on quad bikes that are meant for one person.
- Quad bikes are not all-terrain vehicles so they cannot go safely on all types of terrain. Avoid riding on rough surfaces or steep slopes.
- Ride on familiar tracks and beware of obstacles.
- Never ride under the influence of alcohol/drugs.
- Ensure children are supervised at all times near any quad bike activity.
- Always carry a mobile phone or radio device so you can contact help in case of an emergency.
Useful resources about using quad bikes safely, including videos and fact sheets, are available at www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/rideready
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