Quad bike injury rates keep going up - study

Waikato's Federated Famers president says he's surprised with new figures which show the number of quad bike injuries in the midland region is increasing. 

There were almost 350 quad bike-related injuries resulting in hospitalisation recorded between 2012 and 2018, with 70 percent occurring on a farm. 

Each year the number of accidents on farms rose 7.3 percent. Men outnumbered women nearly four to one. Thirteen percent of those injured were children under 16. 

Andrew McGiven says he hasn't noticed the increase.

"I thought the data nationally was going the other way. I thought we were getting better with the new WorkSafe legislation and proposals working their way through the system."

McGiven says the region's terrain probably doesn't help.

"Some of that country may be steeper or more rugged than some of the other flatter areas too, so that could have a bearing. But... a lot of quad bikes still happen on flat ground as well."

The new research was published on Friday in the New Zealand Medical Journal. It noted "ageing farmers are a developing area of concern".

"However, while agriculture and workplace safety garners the majority of the attention when it comes to quad bike safety, our study shows that there are two other areas also deserving of injury prevention attention; injuries that occur on the farm but not during farming activities and the increase over time in injuries off-farm to recreational riders."

Federated Famers says more education and training on quad bikes is needed.

"As an industry, we're always trying to make sure our farmers can stay safe and see their loved ones at the end of the day," said McGiven.