Incidents, injuries and key risk factors

Quad bikes are a popular vehicle for recreational and work use because of their perceived versatility, ease of operation and go-anywhere characteristics. But they do have limitations.

Quad bike use is increasingly diversifying into recreational activities such as adventure tours, surf life-saving and in competitive racing. On rural properties their use is also expanding to include activities such as mustering, spraying, towing and farm inspections, often in rough terrain.

A side-by-side vehicle is often considered a better option as it is more stable and can safely carry loads and passengers.

Types of incidents

The most common types of quad bike-related incidents are rollovers, collisions with stationary objects and falling from the bike. Key causal factors are often due to the high centre of gravity - made worse when used on rough terrain and slopes, hitting hidden obstacles, under load from excessive weight, or when the rider is inexperienced.

Types of injuries

In most cases, quad bike injuries and fatalities are caused by crush injuries – with riders trapped under the quad bike or injuries when a rider hits rocks, tree branches or other obstacles.

Key risk factors

The key risky rider behaviours are:

  • inappropriate use (including children operating adult-sized quad bikes and more than one passenger on single seat quad bikes)
  • performing tasks on terrain not suited to quad bikes
  • overloading and inappropriate fitting of attachments.

Operator attitudes to safety measures (including training, helmets and fit-for-purpose use) also play a significant role in contributing to quad-bike incidents.

Last updated
09 December 2019