In the lead up to summer holidays, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning about the dangers of children riding quad bikes meant for adults.
Tragically, there have been 14 quad bike related deaths reported this year in Australia and three of these fatalities were children under 14.
“Children must never ride quad bikes intended for adults – either as drivers or passengers,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“Quad bikes can be risky even for experienced, adult riders. Children simply do not have the physical or cognitive capacity to safely operate a quad bike.”
A Victoria-focussed quad bike injury study published by the Medical Journal of Australia in 2013 found children under 14 years old are more likely to end up in hospital emergency departments from quad bike-related injuries than any other age group.
The study found that the under 14 age group accounted for one in three emergency department presentations and one in six deaths related to quad bikes.
In Australia, there have been 74 reported deaths associated with quad bike use since 2011. Thirteen of these deaths involved children under the age of 14, which is almost one in five.
The ACCC is urging the community to follow these three key safety tips to keep children safe:
- Never let children ride quad bikes that are meant for adults – it’s not worth the risk
- Never let children be passengers on quad bikes
- Do not ride anywhere near children.
Parents, carers and quad bike users are also urged to watch the video ‘Quad bike safety: would you risk it?’ that highlights the deadly risks of dangerous quad bike practices.
- 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.
- Always tell someone of your expected location before leaving for a quad bike ride.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Wear protective clothing and gear such as goggles, long sleeves, long pants, boots and gloves/hand protection.
- 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 for help in case of an emergency.
Further information on quad bike safety is available on this website.