ACCC warns about quad bike dangers for kids

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned parents and carers to keep children away from quad bikes.

A recent Medical Journal of Australia study indicated that children do not have the physical and cognitive capacity to operate quad bikes safely.

The study found that children under 14 years of age made up a third of hospital emergency departments visits for quad bike-related injuries in Victoria.

Sadly, 18 quad bike-related deaths have been reported in Australia this year. Two were children under the age of 14.

In 2012, 19 quad bike-related deaths were reported in total with children under 14 accounting for five of those deaths.

“Quad bikes are especially popular during school holidays when they’re used recreationally but the ACCC is encouraging parents and carers to choose a safer, alternative outdoor activity,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Uncertainty of terrain and where a child is up to in terms of their development, including their reaction times, increases the risk of accident.”

The ACCC is urging parents and carers 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
  • Quad bikes are not all-terrain vehicles so they cannot go safely on all types of terrain
  • Do not carry any passengers on quad bikes that are meant for one person
  • Ensure children are supervised at all times near any quad bike activity
  • Don’t let children be passengers on quad bikes
  • Never let children ride quad bikes that are meant for adults – it’s not worth the risk
  • Avoid riding on rough terrain or steep slopes
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol/drugs
  • Ride on familiar tracks and beware of obstacles
  • Ensure you are properly trained before you ride a quad bike
  • Maintain the bike so it is in safe condition

Always read the operator manual and observe the manufacturer’s safety warnings and recommended use of the vehicle.

Further information on quad bike safety is available at www.productsafety.gov.au/quadbikes.

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