Quads and kids go head to head

Study into children's use of quad bikes driving future safety campaigns


According to manufacturers' guidelines children under the age of 16 should not ride adult sized quad bikes yet injury reports are revealing they do.

According to manufacturers' guidelines children under the age of 16 should not ride adult sized quad bikes yet injury reports are revealing they do.

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The prevalence of children under the age of 16 riding adult sized quad bikes is high and a team of QUT researchers is calling for parents to tell them why.

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In today’s climate the most casual reference to quad bikes is enough to fire a debate but research into their use and misuse has been thin on the ground, until now.

Three Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers have committed to understanding the factors influencing children’s use of quad bikes to drive messages for future safety campaigns.

Primary researcher Kim Vuong, Brisbane, said in all the available statistics on quad bike injuries, 20 per cent related to children.

“The manufacturers recommend children under the age of 16 shouldn’t ride adult sized quad bikes but injury reports are saying they do,” Ms Vuong said.  

“Children aren’t really following the regulations around wearing helmets and not carrying passengers so we want to understand why.”

The study asks for parents of at least one child under 16 with access to a quad bike, either family owned or through friends, to participate in an hour long focus group discussion.

If parents are unable to attend in person researchers have provided an option for a 30 minute phone interview.

Ms Vuong said the initial information would inform the development of an Australia wide survey.

“Essentially we want to gauge parent’s thoughts and feelings around quad bike safety and the factors that influence why they do or don’t let their child ride,” she said.

“We’re interested in the culture around quad bikes and what the perceived advantages are of letting young children handle quad bikes.

“We’re not putting the blame on parents at all, we’re looking at the practicalities. For instance, a parent may say they don’t have alternate supervision available so they’d have to ride with their child on the quad, which isn’t always possible.” 

The study will finish at the end of June and the research team is asking for as many parents to participate as possible to provide a sound research base.

As an added incentive a $20 Coles Myer voucher will be given to all participants.

To get involved, contact principal researcher Kim Vuong on 0434 190 386 or email kim.vuong@hdr.qut.edu.au.

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