ACCC proposes major changes to quad bike safety standards

Date: Mar 28, 2018

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has proposed an overhaul of current safety standards for quad bikes in an effort to reduce fatalities and major injuries.

Quad bike safety is a major issue in the country, with the vehicles contributing to more than 100 deaths between 2011 and 2016, according to Safe Work Australia.

The ACCC said there are approximately 190,000 quad bikes in operation and a further 16,000 are sold across the nation every year. Quad bike accidents lead to six people per day attending hospital emergency departments, with one-third of these sustaining serious injuries.

What are the new quad bike safety proposals?

A range of measures have been drafted for a mandatory safety standard, including:

  • Adopting an existing US standard;
  • Introducing additional rollover warning labels;
  • Implementing a safety star system that rewards more secure vehicles;
  • Adding requirements for operator protection devices to new quad bikes, such as crush and rollover prevention features; and
  • Introducing minimum performance tests for handling, stability and mechanical suspension.

ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh said his organisation has consulted with manufacturers, retailers, farmers, consumers, hospitals, tourism operators and other organisations while planning the proposals.

The ACCC is currently accepting submissions from stakeholders until May 4 2018, with a view to making a final recommendation to the Federal Government later this year.

Understanding quad bike safety risks

Rollovers are the biggest threat to safety when riding a quad bike. They are responsible for almost half of all deaths, Safe Work Australia figures show.

Older people and children are particularly at risk, as they are less able to use an active riding technique, which involves shifting body weight to deal with terrain changes.

Around half of people who are killed in quad bike accidents each year are employees of rural businesses. This could lead to liability issues if organisations have breached their duty of care to staff by failing to provide a safe working environment.

Pursuing compensation for quad bike accidents

In Australia, public liability laws exist to protect people who suffer injuries due to the negligence of individuals or organisations. These rules extend to quad bike accidents.

For example, a woman was awarded $136,075 in a case that reached the NSW Court of Appeal in 2015.

Alameddine v Glenworth Valley Horse Riding Pty resulted in a judgment against a recreational facility that provided quad bike rides. The business was found negligent because an instructor had told the woman to ride at an excessive speed.

If you would like to discuss a public liability claim in regard to a quad bike accident, please contact a personal injury specialist at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.