ACCC issues safety warning for quad bikes and SSVs

ACCC issues safety warning for quad bikes and SSVs

Since 2011, approximately 136 people have died as a result of quad bike accidents, while thousands more have been seriously injured. Now, the ACCC is urging people to be vigilant about safely operating quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles (SSV). Many quad bike and SSV-related deaths and accidents occur in summer, with over 60% of these deaths the result of a rollover, commonly resulting in the driver receiving fatal crush injuries or asphyxiating after being pinned beneath the quad bike. There has been an increase in incidents involving SSVs, with seven deaths reported in 2019.

“Make sure you are properly trained, wear the appropriate safety gear and never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s also a good idea to tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to return,” said Mick Keogh, ACCC Deputy Chair.

The ACCC is also encouraging people to install an operator protection device, also known as a crush protection device, to make quad bikes safer. The device is intended to protect the rider from serious crush injuries or asphyxiation by creating a crawl out space when the quad bike is overturned.

“You don’t need to wait for the new safety standard to come into effect to upgrade your current quad bike to a safer one. We have seen a significant increase in fatalities associated with the use of SSVs because people are not wearing the seatbelts that are installed in the vehicle. Even more disturbing is that 40% of these deaths have been children, with the youngest a three-year-old boy. Please do not be complacent about your safety and those of your loved ones. Our message is clear — wear a seatbelt every time you get into an SSV,” Keogh said.

The ACCC is urging people to ensure they are properly trained in riding quad bikes or SSVs, and to maintain the vehicle so it is in safe condition. Installing an operator protection device on quad bikes is also recommended, alongside reading the operator manual and observing the manufacturer’s safety warnings and recommended use of the vehicle. Riders are also encouraged to ride on familiar tracks and beware of obstacles, and ensure that children are supervised at all times near any quad bike or SSV activity. Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strongly discouraged, and riders are urged to always carry a mobile phone or radio device to contact help in case of an emergency.

People are also urged to always wear a helmet and protective gear, such as goggles, long sleeves, long pants, boots and gloves when operating quad bikes and SSVs. The ACCC also stipulates that children should never ride quad bikes or SSVs that are meant for adults; carrying passengers on quad bikes that are meant for one person, or in the rear tray of an SSV, is also discouraged. As quad bikes and SSVs are not all-terrain vehicles, riders are urged to avoid using them on rough terrain, steep slopes or hard, flat surfaces (such as tarmac and asphalt).

Image credit: © Govorov

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