NZ, Australia have similar quad bike stats

  • 17/07/2017
In New Zealand 2016 was a record year for quad bike deaths.
In New Zealand 2016 was a record year for quad bike deaths. Photo credit: Getty

The number of quad bike deaths and people likely to take a spill are eerily similar on both sides of the Tasman, new research has found.

Data being collated by the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health on quad bike accidents and fatalities between 2007 and 2012 show there were 7.3 deaths annually per 100,000 quad bikes owned for Australia.

The number is eight per 100,000 in New Zealand.

In this country, 2016 was a record year for deaths from quad bike accidents, with 14.

WorkSafe NZ says quad bikes are involved in nearly a third of all work-related farm deaths and there are 850 injuries due to quad bikes each year.

In Australia, there have been 115 people killed in quad bike accidents in the past seven years.

The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health research highlighted that most fatalities from 2007 to 2012 involved males, occurred on farms and just over half were work-related.

The two nations do differ in the ages of fatalities, however, with Australian cases generally involving older people.

Over 65s accounted for 30 per cent of Australian cases, but only 3 per cent (one person) in New Zealand.

The authors argue that both countries should join forces to reduce injuries, focusing on safe design and engineering principles.

After a 2014 study on quad bike-related child deaths in New Zealand, there were calls for roll bars but there have been no new enforced safety measures.

Safekids, the ACC, Federated Farmers, WorkSafe NZ and quad bike manufacturers all strongly advise against the use of quad bikes by those less than 16 years of age.

New Zealand's Health Quality and Safety Commission's child and youth mortality review committee reported in 2014 that from 2002 to 2012, 33 children under the age of 15 were killed in motorbike and quad bike-related incidents.