A recent series of quad bike incidents has again highlighted just how important it is to take a few simple precautions to protect rural families and workers who use or own these vehicles. Earlier this month, a woman was airlifted to hospital after a quad bike accident in Rockhampton's west, while there were also separate incidents on the Sunshine Coast and Western Downs.
The recent surge in incidents comes just after Safe Work Australia released its quad fatalities list for 2021 showing almost 40% of all fatalities involving quad bikes were in Queensland (5 of 13 fatalities Australia wide).
However, encouragingly, the latest round of independent annual market research on quad bike safety commissioned by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland shows a marked improvement in quad safety attitudes and behaviours.
Conducting regular research gives more meaningful insights into the longer-term impact of WHSQ’s advisory, educational and compliance efforts in quad bike safety, rather than just the immediate impact of promotional activities or an advertising campaign.
Key insights from the research show that attitudes and behaviours, compared with those in 2016, have improved significantly, including the fact that while some attitudes and behaviours softened in 2020, most have improved again in the past 12 months. The research also revealed that attitudes towards the importance of wearing a helmet are improving but there is still a way to go.
Key positive changes in attitudes and behaviours from 2016 to note are:
- 17% increase in people always wearing a helmet
- 16% increase in the belief that helmets are a must
- 13% increase in people never allowing kids to ride without a helmet
- 12% decrease in the self-confidence of quad bike riders.