Road related quad bike and side by side vehicle casualties
Quad bike vehicle related casualties continue to be a leading contributor and major causal mechanism in regards to fatal and serious injuries occurring in Australian rural areas, particularly on farms. Side by Side Vehicle (SSV) incidents also contribute to rural casualties albeit to a much lesser extent. Despite significant attention, little progress has been made in reducing their incidents or severity, and indeed they appear to be increasing. An investigation of closed cases in the National Coronial Information System (NCIS) for the period 2000 to 2012 identified 141 fatal cases. Of these sixteen (16) or around 11% of all fatalities involved a fatality on a public road. Little is known about the characteristics of these public road related fatalities. The Authors are not aware of any publications regarding Australian casualties. However, some data regarding Victorian road related Quad bike and SSV serious injuries have been published. Data has been collected for NSW and other states by two of the authors.
In some countries, such as Sweden and parts of the USA, such vehicles are permitted to travel on public roads. A question that has arisen for Australian regulators is whether these vehicles should be permitted to travel on Australian roads and if so under what circumstances. In order to understand the risk and form a road safety policy position regarding these vehicles it is important know what the magnitude of the problem is and how people are being injured and killed in the road environment. This paper presents an overview of the statistical data and characteristics of the road related Quad bike and SSV crashes. Recommendations concerning these vehicles roadworthiness are also presented.