Commissioner's Blog: Quad bikes are not children’s toys
As school holidays approach, a reminder that quad bikes and kids are a dangerous, and potentially deadly, mix.
Since 2020, nine West Australians have been killed on quad bikes - two of them this year, including a girl aged under 10. Nationally, quad bikes are a leading cause of serious injury and death on Australian farming properties with 71 people killed, including 11 children, since 2017.
Royal Perth Hospital’s Trauma Register shows the majority of quad bike accidents between 2013 and 2022 happened off-road or on farms. 60 per cent of 80 people admitted to Royal Perth Hospital with major trauma injuries from quad bike accidents, weren’t wearing any safety devices.
Accidents are common with quad bikes tipping and easily rolling over on rough ground, at high speed or carrying heavy or uneven loads, often resulting in devastating outcomes.
Quad bike safety is improving with new rules introduced in late 2021, covering operator protection devices, and a tag that allows you to compare stability and safety of models.
But quad bikes are not children’s toys. Perth Children’s Hospital has seen 14 children, aged 15 years and younger, injured in quad bike accidents between January and August this year.
The safest option is for children not to ride quads, even as passengers, as children lack the size, and physical or cognitive ability to safely operate quad bikes built for adults.
The Product Safety Australia website has a range of great ways to increase safety on quad bikes for older riders and passengers, based around Prepare Safe, Wear Safe, Ride Safe.
Among the recommendations, Prepare Safe advises to make sure the quad is the right vehicle for the activity you want to do. Wear Safe is all about wearing a helmet and protective clothing, and Ride Safe includes advice on not carrying passengers on bikes designed for only one rider.
The figures speak for themselves. Keep kids off quad bikes these holidays, to keep them safe.
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