The Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce has launched the first stage of a $1 million research project aimed at reducing quad bike deaths on farms.

Mr Pearce said 15 vehicles will be tested using a specially designed tilt-table to determine the likelihood of the vehicles rolling over and causing severe injuries.

“Quad bikes are the leading cause of injury and death on Australian farms,” Mr Pearce said.

“Most deaths are a result of head injuries, asphyxia or serious chest injuries from being trapped by overturned vehicles.

“This testing will enable us to determine whether safety enhancements and design improvements can be made so that injury and loss of life can be prevented.”

Mr Pearce said 200 tests by transport and safety experts will be conducted using combinations of riders, loads and operator protection devices.

“There is still scope to improve vehicle design as previous research has failed to establish the causes of asphyxiation fatalities, which account for nearly 40 per cent of quad bike rollover deaths in Australia,” he said.

“The project team has consulted with the world’s leading experts in quad bike safety to ensure the most effective tests are being conducted.

“These tests will involve measuring the stability of quad bikes using the tilt-table to determine the likelihood of a vehicle rolling using front and rear load combinations.”

“The safety of quad bike users and improving the unacceptable fatality and injury rates needs to be a priority for manufacturers, suppliers and the farming community.

“I look forward to the findings of this world leading research which will help regulators and guide manufacturers make engineering and design improvements.”

The research project is being conducted by experts from the Transport and Road Safety Research Unit at the University of New South Wales on behalf of WorkCover NSW and the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities.

You can read the PDF version of this media release.

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