ACCC urges safe riding after quad bike deaths rise this year

Published: 
18 Dec 2015

To prevent quad bike accidents this summer, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning the community to be fully prepared, wear protective gear and ride safe.

“Tragically, 20 Australians have died this year from quad bike accidents, including a six-year-old, a seven-year-old and a 15-year-old. In 2014, there were 15 deaths – sadly, a 30 per cent increase in fatalities this year,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Alarmingly, January is the most common month for quad bike deaths among children in Australia. January also has twice the injury rate of other months.”

“Many consumers expect that quad bikes can safely go on all kinds of terrain and surfaces. Unfortunately, this isn’t true – riding on steep slopes, rough terrain and even hard, flat surfaces (such as tarmac and asphalt) may cause the quad bike to become unstable and very dangerous,” Ms Rickard said.

“There have been more than 210 deaths associated with quad bikes in Australia since 2001; with children involved in about a third of emergency department presentations involving quad bike accidents during recreational activity.”

“A large proportion of quad bike-related deaths during recreational activity have involved the quad bike tipping or rolling over. In cases involving children, the quad bike had tipped or rolled over in almost 75 per cent of incidents,” Ms Rickard said.

“Before getting on a quad bike, you must consider the bike’s condition, how much training you’ve had and whether you’re wearing enough protective gear. Children should never ride quad bikes intended for adults, either as drivers or passengers. Children must be supervised at all times near quad bikes.”

Prepare safe

  • 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 recommended use of the vehicle.
  • Before you leave for a quad bike ride, always tell someone where you plan to go and when you expect to return. 

Wear safe

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Wear protective clothing and gear such as goggles, long sleeves, long pants, boots and gloves/hand protection.

Ride safe

  • Never let children 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 terrain 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.

Further information on quad bike safety is available on this website, including the video ‘Quad bike safety: would you risk it?' that highlights the deadly risks of dangerous quad bike practices.

Contact details

Release number: MR 267/15

Media enquiries: 1300 138 917

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
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