Quad bike accidents: Where they happen, who they affect, and common causes in New Zealand
Injuries from quad bikes are increasing despite greater awareness of safety issues.
Words: Nadene Hall Source: NZ Medical Association
New NZ research looking at six years of injury data from nearly 350 quad bike-related hospitalisations has found the number of injuries is increasing.
A joint study by the University of Auckland and the Waikato District Hospital looked at quad bike injury data from 2012-2018 in the Taranaki, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty regions. They found:
• 70.2% of events occurred on a farm;
• men had more than triple the number of hospitalisations than women (3.7 to 1);
• 40 of the cases involved riders aged 65+, and five were over 80+;
• 46 children (under 16 years) were hospitalised – 23 injured on-farm, seven on the road;
• Five of the injured children were riding child-sized bikes, but over half the children hospitalised were riding adult-sized quads;
• 12 people died, either at the scene of the accident or on the way to hospital. The research found several growing areas of concern:
• riders over the age of 50, who are more at risk from lower strength levels, flexibility, and balance required for riding – the average age of NZ farmers is 47.4 years;
• injuries occurring on-farm but not during farming activities;
• injuries occurring off-farm to recreational riders.
There are an estimated 80,000-100,000 quad bikes in use across New Zealand, the majority of those on farms.