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Ride ready - helmets

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    • Head injuries.

      Don’t let them be the last thing on your mind.

      Always wear a helmet

      Always Ride ready.

      Search Ride ready for rider tips.

      Authorised by the Queensland Government, Brisbane.

      RUN TIME: 30 seconds.

Ride Ready - kids

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    • Jake, 30 kilos.

      Adult quad bike, 300 kilos.

      Adult size quad bikes aren't made for kids.

      Always Ride ready.

      Search Ride ready for rider tips.

      Authorised by the Queensland Government, Brisbane.

      RUN TIME: 31 seconds

Ride Ready - loads

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    • Loaded quad bikes tip on slopes.

      So stop and think before you tackle steep terrain.

      Always Ride ready.

      Search Ride ready for rider tips.

      Authorised by the Queensland Government, Brisbane.

      RUN TIME: 30 seconds

Short films

Quad bikes - the right tool for the job?

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    • Voice over: Before jumping on your quad bike, give some thought to the task at hand.

      Is it really the right tool for the task?

      A quad bike incident can result in serious injury or even death, so don't assume your quad bike is the best tool for every task.

      Quad bikes can be prone to roll-over or collision when traversing rough or sloping terrain or when making emergency stops or turns.

      These issues are made worse when the quad bike is weighed down with heavy equipment or you're towing an attachment not designed to be used with your particular model.

      Plan your task and identify the safest equipment to use to complete it.

      When mustering cattle with a quad bike you could be crossing rough terrain at speed or need to make tight turns to chase cattle.

      There is a high potential for a collision or roll-over incident, due to the terrain or rocks, logs and holes hidden in long grass.

      The alternatives for mustering may be to use a horse, a motorbike or dogs.

      Using a quad bike to carry a large amount of equipment to do a task may not be the best option either.

      If you're erecting or repairing a fence then perhaps carrying your equipment and workers in a ute or other vehicle is a better option?

      You will need to check the manufacturer's guidelines to assess whether your quad bike is suited to carrying heavy loads or towing attachments and that they're fitted correctly.

      Spraying weeds is another common task on properties, but towing a heavy attachment can pose a danger by increasing the instability of the quad bike.

      The weight from large volumes of liquid add to the potential for a quad bike to lose steering or braking control and may lead to a roll-over, especially if the tank doesn't have baffles to stop the movement of liquid when the quad bike is turning or travelling across sloping ground.

      Even a small amount of liquid in a large tank will affect the stability of a quad bike.

      A better option may be to use a tractor or ute that has the capacity to carry a larger volume of herbicide mix and which has a spray rig.

      There will be times when using your quad bike is the best tool for the task…. whether you're inspecting fences, checking animals, spraying small areas, or doing other small maintenance tasks.

      At other times a side-by-side quad bike, a tractor, ute, horse or other vehicle may be better suited.

      Ultimately you need to decide whether your quad bike is up to the task by assessing the risks….

      Other safety tips include: wearing helmets, long sleeve shirts, gloves, boots and eye goggles. Being trained in the use of quad bikes. Maintaining your quad bike to the manufacturer's specifications and checking the brakes and tyre pressure daily. Not doubling passengers. Knowing your property's terrain and not venturing into no-go zones.

      Develop a safety procedure for your property and make sure everyone follows it.

      Work safe. Farm safe.


      RUN TIME: 3 mins 29 seconds

Case study films

Too fast, too soon – Domenic’s story

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    • Mario: It’s still hard today to, sit back and think about what happened. From 18 months to now as a family we’ve been through one of the hardest things ever. If anything out of this is just one family not to go through the, heartache and the pain.

      Fiona: It’s devastating. It changes everybody’s lives.

      Jodie: It was just a 50cc. Wasn’t a big bike. Thinking it won’t go very fast. It will be ok. Everything went wrong.

      Frank: What a dreadful thing to go through. You know what Mario’s been through and Jodie and myself.

      Mario: I’m a, yeah, emergency service worker. I’m a station officer for Queensland Fire and Emergency services. Not once did I ever think that I’d have to render assistance to one of my own family. We’re in a small rural community called Atherton. You know we’re approximately an hour and a half west of Cairns. A very good friend of mine, he’s probably my best friend. He’s got 2 boys and one of thems about the same age as Domenic, one’s a bit older. And his oldest boy, it was his 10th birthday. So we decided to go to Tinaroo, have a bit of an afternoon and the boys played and swam and it was just a really good fun afternoon.

      Frank: It was a footy grand finals. And then, I said, we’ll go Mario’s. We’ll go back and watch the footy.

      Mario: The boys came in, asking Frank if they could ride the motorbike.

      Jodie: Frank’s 2 boys had ridden the quad bike first. They both had a go first. And then Domenic’s like no I want to do it by myself. I want to have a go by myself. I can do it Mum. So I had sort of you know I assessed it. You know went through where the brakes were. Same braking system as his BMX bike. I then put him in, the bike and him in the direction where it was nice and flat. I went through those safety precautions in my head. Still thinking that he was capable of riding the bike and being able to control it. So everything that went through my head, those safety steps that went through my head all went wrong.

      Mario: And I remember we were just sitting back and the national anthem came on and the kids come running in.

      Frank: All I can remember is my youngest one Jessie come in screaming.

      Mario: And they just kept yelling Domenic, Domenic, Domenic.

      Jodie: He was probably on that bike for 5 seconds, if that, and just went full throttle. And while I was yelling out to him stop, stop, put the brakes on, the bike hit the power pole. Which Dominque was then thrown off the bike and then he landed down onto the bitumen road. When I picked him up off the road I didn’t know if he was alive.

      Mario: As I walked out the door, I seen Jodie running up. She was basically carrying and he was limp you know his arms were flapping. And yelling, call an ambulance call an ambulance there’s been an accident. I started dialling 000 on the mobile phone and she said to me he’s not breathing, he’s not breathing. So I took him and placed him on the ground. And instinct just kicked in and just laid him on the ground and put his head back.

      Jodie: I remember screaming at Mario, make him breathe, make him breathe. He has to breathe.

      Mario: I got him breathing again and then, he was bleeding from the back of his head and I remember his eyes were just rolling and the gurgling sound that was coming out of his throat. And I just kept telling his Domenic stay with me mate, just stay with me.

      Patrick: So we were airborne on our way to Mount Garnet at the time and we got a call to divert the helicopter to Atherton hospital. You had a young boy on a quad

      bike. Mechanism of injury was the bike versus a power pole. Wasn’t wearing a helmet. You absolutely are thinking that it’s quite serious and it’s quite significant what’s happened.

      Mario: The emergency doctor off the helicopter said to me, said look we’re going to take him to Townsville. We’re going to put him in an induced coma. And I just looked at him and said I’m coming with ya. I remember landing, in Townsville and yeah getting off the chopper. Remember them wheeling him out of the ICU and taking him down to the operation. Like a scene out of a movie. They stopped and that’s when I kissed him and said Dad’s here mate, love you. You’re going to be alright. He was still in his coma but he was tossing and turning and the nurses were trying to calm him down. And I was standing there and said don’t worry mate Dad’s here. Dad’s right here and he sort of stopped and looked at me and put his arms out and sort of gave him a cuddle and he sort of tapped me on the back saying everything’s aright Dad. Even though he was in this coma he could still hear me and, and say it’s all good. We didn’t know when they brought him out of his coma whether he, you know what he’d be like. Whether he would walk, talk. Be the same kid. You know we were told he’d never have the same personality. You know. He bruised all the nerve endings in his brain. He’s actually shook it.

      Dr. Tony: When you get an impact to the scull you tend to get 2 injuries. Firstly the injury at the point of impact to, to the scull and the brain underneath there. And secondly an injury called a counter-coo injury which is basically where the brain rebounds and you may get another injury sort of opposite the initial injury.

      Fiona: Around one in five of all serious incidents on quad bikes is brain trauma. If people are wearing a helmet. A correctly fitted helmet then they reduce that risk of that.

      Mario: The doctors told us that be prepared to be in Townsville for 3-6 months.

      Frank: It was shocking. I mean I was down in Townsville the next day just to be beside him. It wasn’t a good feeling.

      Jodie: We just had to stay positive. You know and if the outcome was that he needed, permanent care, long time care, whatever it was, we were going to do it. It didn’t matter.

      Mario: Olivia. Olivia found, she’s found it the hardest. So she seen the whole thing happen. Something that you wouldn’t want a 5 year old to see. You know.

      Jodie: She wouldn’t go up to Domenic’s bed when he was in ICU. Didn’t want to touch him because he had tubes coming out of him and all the machines that were behind his bed. Because he got that initial care so quickly and so soon that had helped then with his recovery. So he’d have sessions with physio, OT, speech therapist.

      Mario: Within 5 weeks we were coming home. Compared to what we were told originally by the ICU doctor. And to see him 18 months later. He’s back on the BMX track, he’s running, he’s playing. He was a fighter. Definitely a fighter.

      Fiona: If Domenic was wearing a helmet the day of his incident, he probably wouldn’t have gone through all of the pain and suffering that he’s gone through and that his family has gone through. It may have been a very, very different set of circumstances.

      Patrick: With quad bike injuries, the regular occurrence which you will see is either head injuries, falling off a bike, injuries associated with crushing. Either the bike landing on top of them.

      Fiona: When children are operating any vehicle, any quad bike, they need to understand the limitations. And the best person to do that is Mom or Dad.

      Mario: It comes back to the parent’s responsibility to make sure these kids know how to handle these things. If they’re going to put them on there. The right size for the right child. Make sure that they know how to handle it. Domenic was inexperienced.

      Fiona: When people receive quad bike training from an accredited trainer they are going to learn a range of skills and, and those skill are going to help them operate the quad bike safely.

      Frank: Before you put your kids on the bike, make sure they’ve got helmets, safety and knowledge of riding the bike too. I mean a little machine is powerful.

      Fiona: Investing in the right personal protective equipment for you child when they’re operating a quad bike, is a very small investment to make when you compare that for the consequences of not wearing a helmet.

      Jodie: In Domenic’s case he was inexperienced. I assumed that he knew what he was doing. That he was able to, you know, operate the quad bike, but yeah, I was wrong.

      Mario: Just to stop that one family from going through it is, is something we hope to achieve. We’ve been lucky. We know of other families that haven’t been so lucky. And this is something that you know, we’ll carry for the rest of our lives.

      Domenic: I remember getting on it but I don’t really remember taking off on it. When I woke up in ICU, I don’t actually know what it all means. I don’t remember that much in there. But I do remember I got to watch The Lorax.

      RUN TIME: 10 mins 56 sec

A rush of blood: the Miles Paterson story

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    • FIONA: [Fiona O'Sullivan Principal Inspector, WHSQ] People talk about the quad bike injuries, often when there's been an incident someone will either get thrown off the quad bike, or the quad bike often rolls on the person. A lot of the fatalities are caused by crush injuries and it's caused by the bike coming and hitting the person, usually in the chest or neck area. The biggest misconceptions is they have four wheels so they're very stable. It's hard to put one single cause on those quad bike incidents; it can be a range of things. I'm amazed that Miles survived his incident. Not a lot of people walk away from a crush injury from a quad bike.

      [Title page "A rush of blood - the  Miles Paterson story"]

      MILES: [Miles Paterson, Cattleman] This particular place is just a breeding enterprise with about fourteen hundred breeders on it. A lot of it we don't run many cattle in because it's quite impregnable.

      CHEZ: [Chez Paterson, Lady of the house] Miles had told me the day before that he was going to get some cattle in to send to a sale the following day. So I presumed that would be mustering, on horseback.

      MILES: I went to have a look and see where the cattle were that I had to get in and I found them way at the back of where they were supposed to be. I just had my hat and jeans and shirt and boots. No helmet, no gloves, no protective gear whatsoever. I knew I should have gone and got a horse, but I continued doing what I was doing on the quad bike because I was nearly home.

      CHEZ: He actually told me that one of the bulls wouldn't come in and he was having trouble with the bull and he got himself in a bit of a corner.

      MILES: And I followed them down the side of a creek bank and the fence was very close to the side of the creek bank. I had to do a little three-point turn between the fence and the side of the creek bank, and I thought I was in forward but I was actually in reverse. And the cattle took off and like all people when they're moving a mob of cattle, the little blood rush goes to the head and I put the throttle on flat to take off after them and went straight over backwards over the embankment.

      CHEZ: Miles' rush of blood. Determined to do his task and certainly, like most males, didn't take time to stop and think about what he was doing and it was a spur of the moment thing.

      MILES:  Straight down about a ten-foot embankment. I was lying on my stomach and the bike came down and fell across the top of my shoulders. Then it rolled over a couple more times and went right to the bottom of the creek.  It actually happened that quick that one minute I was sitting on the bike and the next minute I had a bike on top of me.

      MILES: I lay there for quite some time and took in some big breaths. And I knew I was fairly badly hurt. Massive pains in my chest and I thought I'd broken a couple of ribs and possibly my sternum was cracked, or something very sore in the middle of my chest. So I lay on the ground for a while and got my breath back and then wondered what a stupid thing I'd done and then decided that the only way out of there was to walk home, because nobody had any idea where I was. Dragging one foot after the other and trying to get some air into my lungs was the main issue. Just in a lot of pain and I knew that I had to get home. I think I walked on the way home about a kilometre and a bit. And it probably took me a good hour, hour and a half.  When I got back to the house I rang my wife and told her that I'd had an accident.

      CHEZ: And I said Miles you really need to ring Triple 0, you need to go to the hospital. He said, no, I just thought I'd wait for you to come and tell me if you think I need to go to hospital. And I couldn't believe what he had just said.

      MILES: she was actually in Toowoomba, two and a half hours away, and she wasn't coming home until the next day. So that was probably a fairly stupid thing to say. And the next thing I heard a helicopter flying overhead and the phone was ringing it's head off but there was no way I could physically get up to answer it. My neck was sore. My chest was just aching. And I think everything was aching.

      Dr Allan: [Dr Allan MacKillop, Chief Medical Officer, CareFlight] Quad bike accidents are becoming a very very serious problem in Australia.  We respond to 40 quad bike accidents every year predominantly from our bases in Toowoomba on the Darling Downs, Roma in the central west and the Sunshine Coast helicopter base. The injuries are very serious, in fact, we respond to fatalities, where the bike rider has been fatally injured at the time of the accident. It's distressing …it always is.

      CHEZ: We arrived at the hospital the same time the chopper landed. That was a bit of a weird feeling, seeing the chopper land and think oh my gosh, my husbands' in there.

      MILES: she was there within a couple of minutes, I think. And she just told me that I was an idiot basically. They checked me out. I think I went for an x-ray or two. Then they found out there was nothing seriously, seriously broken. Just a few cracked ribs and my sternum and a lot of bruising.

      CHEZ: How could he have possibly walked home that distance? He should have been dead.

      MILES: After the accident, it took me, and coming back here, it took me a long time to recover.

      CHEZ: I was very concerned about the long-term effects on his back and his neck. To this day he still walks with a stoop.

      MILES: I could barely ride. It hurt to ride a horse. I couldn't… Yeah, there was a lot of things that really it slowed me down. It really affected my ability to carry on the things that I was supposed to do.

      CHEZ: It was difficult for him to not to be out and about and physically running the property. He had to delegate a lot more.

      MILES: When I first got back from the hospital to here, I sort of sat around the house a bit. Was fairly cranky and gave a lot of instructions to people.

      CHEZ: So I found myself saying oh, don't worry, he's cranky but he'll get over it.

      MILES: Not just me that was suffering, it was my wife was suffering and my staff.

      CHEZ:  He was in a lot of pain for a very, very long time and not admitting it. I think it knocked him around a lot more than he will ever admit and it took him a very, very long time to recover.

      FIONA: Quad bikes are a great tool, if they're used within their limits and within the limits of the people operating them. When Miles had his incident, and he freely speaks about this, he had the wrong vehicle for the wrong job. And that was… they just didn't match. He shouldn't have been on a quad bike where he was. He put himself in a really bad situation.

      MILES: I think the accident could have been prevented from happening by doing what we do now and totally banning quad bikes in this terrain.

      FIONA: We have to go right back to the beginning and look at what we're doing, what our country is like and how we're going to use it and then choose the right tool for that.

      MILES: I think a bit of a problem is that we just think that these things can go anywhere so we try and take them anywhere.

      FIONA: They're not made to go up great big steep cliffs. They're not made to be working in really slippery conditions. You've got to use a lot of common sense with it. If you don't feel safe and capable and doing what you're doing you feel there's a high risk that you're going to be injured, well you probably are. And that's when you should pull up.

      CHEZ: I understand that quad bikes have their purpose. They are quick and they're so easy to use. But they are absolutely dangerous if you're not in full control.

      FIONA: But before you even hop on a bike you really do need to be competent to ride it and I can't stress that enough.

      FIONA: It's really important we start with a pair of good boots, jeans, long sleeved shirt, gloves if you feel you need them. A helmet is a must and also eye protection. Quad bikes have a limited load capacity. If you start exceeding those carrying capacities you start compromising the suspension and the ride-ability of it. You just can't steer them properly and also the brakes won't work on them properly.

      MILES: when I went back to where it had happened, I looked at it and I cannot believe that I lived.

      CHEZ: I think the accident has caused Miles to reassess his life. Yeah, emotionally it was certainly a big wake up call.

      MILES: I think the biggest lesson I've learnt from this experience is that they're very dangerous, very, very dangerous pieces of equipment and I think they're treated far too lightly by most people. I don't think people take the time to stop and think and we're all time poor. So we just have to change our ways.

      CHEZ: He's a cranky old bastard but I love every step he takes. I can't believe it

      Credit screen:
      The Department of Justice and the Attorney-General would like to thank Miles, Ben and Chez Paterson, Fiona O'Sullivan, Dr Allan MacKillop of CareFlight  and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries for their assistance in making this film. Filmed on location in the South Burnett region.

      RUNTIME: 8 min 45 secs

Ride ready posters

Doubling poster
That's why we never double (PDF, 1975.66 KB)
That's why we always wear helmets
That's why we always wear helmets (PDF, 2709.46 KB)
Overloading poster
That's why he doesn't load more than the bike can handle (PDF, 1875.83 KB)
Kids poster
That's why he rides a kid-sized bike (PDF, 2224.74 KB)
Training poster
That's why Katie's had rider training (PDF, 1949.53 KB)


Quad bike Infographics
Quad bike Infographics  (PDF, 439.82 KB)

School resources

Chatterbox for kids 
Chatterbox for primary school children  (PDF, 790.71 KB)
Kids safety 
        poster thumbnail
Safety poster for primary school children  (PDF, 3472.42 KB)
Quad bike colour flyer
Quad bike colour in flyer for primary school children  (PDF, 1194.92 KB)
Quad bikes spot the difference
Spot the difference activity for primary school children  (PDF, 931.53 KB)

Reports, plans, flyers and factsheets

Quad bike safety report card 2017
Quad bike safety report card 2017  (PDF, 371.33 KB)
Statewide Plan for Improving Quad Bike Safety in Queensland
Statewide Plan for Improving Quad Bike Safety in Queensland 2016 - 2019
Office of the State Coroner - Findings of inquest
Inquest into nine (9) deaths caused by quad bike accidents (Queensland)
Ride ready flyer
Ride ready flyer  (PDF, 1194.92 KB)
Survive the Ride
Survive the ride – Quad bike safety for young workers
Use of helmets when operating quad bikes
Use of helmets when operating quad bikes factsheet
Rural Plant Code of Practice 2004
Rural Plant Code of Practice 2004
Quad bikes on farms
Quad bikes on Farms – Worksafe Victoria
CARRSQ - Quad bike safety factsheet
Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland - Quad bike safety factsheet
Quad bikes in rural workplaces
Quad bikes in rural workpaces
CARRSQ Quad bike related injuries report
CARRSQ Quad bike-related injuries in Queensland – Final report
(PDF, 2966.23 KB)

Checklists and templates

Latest news and events

Quad bike safety information

Last updated
09 December 2019