Quad bikes have been named a killer for people on holiday. Quad bikes are not toys and many children have been involved in serious and fatal accidents caused by them. Some have even died, labeling quad bikes a killer. Only properly trained people, within the recommended age range should be allowed to ride a quad bike.
A big part of what makes a quad bike so dangerous is their lack of lateral stability and crush protection for the rider. Quad bikes roll over too easily, and often the consequences of that roll can be fatal. Hence making them killers.
Quick Quad Bike Safety Tips
- Stick to enjoying quad biking off-road and don’t use a quad bike on main roads.
- Don’t ride in hills that are too steep
- Check your insurance – you may not be covered to hire a quad bike.
- Always wear a protective helmet.
- Always wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
- Children under 16 should not ride full-size Quad Bikes
- Make sure that you are provided with the appropriate training to operate the vehicle safely.
- Check that the vehicle is in good condition – and do not ride it if you have any concerns.
- Watch your speed.
- Inexperienced riders should use the learning key
- Do not allow anyone to ride pillion.
The ABTA, the Travel Advice & Holiday Information, which is UK largest travel association.
In 2018 that British holidaymakers who rented out mopeds or quad bikes abroad are risking death or life-changing injuries.
They launched a campaign advising travelers to think twice before hiring when on holiday overseas.
And they should only ride quad bikes only as part of an organised excursion.
ABTA reported that in 2017, 36 quad bike accidents occurred. But these are just the reported numbers. It is suggested the numbers are way higher.
So why do people hire quad bikes when on holiday?
Reports from holiday makers was that they save money on traveling because taxis were always extortionate. It was always hard to know whether fares where increased or not.
Up to 2018, ABTA estimated that one in 10 British holidaymakers ends up hiring a moped or quad bike whilst overseas – a total of 4.5 million.
For UK travellers between 18 and 24, the figure is one in seven.
So What exactly makes quad bike killers?
Quad bikes have earned the tag of killers because of their lack of stability and control over high speeds or slopes. Seeking thrill on a quad bike or ATV can sometimes cost you your life as at higher speeds, the quad bike becomes extremely hard to control and unstable.
Not all quad bikes have a low center of gravity; therefore, they can flip over crushing the rider. Quad bikes are incredibly heavy, so if a rider is stuck below it, there’s no coming out.
Quad bikes are also not designed for paved roads and streets because of their sturdy tires. However, some people do not understand this risk factor and hit their quad bikes to the streets.
People wish to seek thrill and travel at incredibly high speeds, but when it comes to braking, the quad bike tires lose traction with the ground and results in a violent crash which can be fatal.
Quad Bike tips for riding safely in hills:
- Inexperienced riders should begin by riding a low-angle hill to gain experience before gradually attempting steeper ones. Do not in any case ride steeper than recommended by the manufacturer.
- When you do try a steeper hill, stand up and lean your body against the hill to make the bike less likely to tip.
- If you ride uphill, you will need to lean forward.
- If you ride downhill, you should lean back.
- And when you ride sideways, you must lean to the side that faces uphill.
- Never attempt riding up or down a hill that is steeper than you feel comfortable with. You rarely get a warning before the bike tips over, and when they do tip, they go fast
Death Toll Of Quad Bikes
In December 2019, there was a report of a woman who got killed by a quad bike on a steep slope, known as the killer slope.
Over 650 hospitalisations occur every year due to quad bike related injuries’ in the UK. Many of these result in serious lifelong injuries like paraplegia and quadriplegia’
Figures from 2017 show 41 fatal accidents under the category ‘other vehicles’, which includes quad bikes and anything that isn’t specified. The stats showed 515 serious accidents and 2,307 slight accidents that year.
According to UK magazine farmers weekly, it is estimated that 23 deaths were caused by quad bikes between 1996 and 2006. All of the 23 deaths were farmers who were not wearing safety equipment when operating the quad bike. 17 deaths out of 23 were due to head injuries.
Farmers weekly magazine also claims that there are over 1000 quad bike accidents resulting in serious injuries each year. Most of the quad bike accidents occur when farmers ride ATVs incorrectly or overturn them.
Additionally, some farmers lose control of the quad bike when towing various objects on slopes, they are either thrown off the ATV and crushed by it or firmly hit the ground. HM inspector Tony Mitchell claims that none of the farmers wearing a helmet was killed by an ATV ever on a UK farm.
This disadvantage makes quad bikes one of the deadliest vehicles in the world.
Are Quad Bikes Safer Than Dirt Bikes?
Some people will say that dirt bikes are more dangerous than quad bikes, but that is not true. Quad bikes are considered riskier than dirt bikes because of their massive weight and deadly accidents. It was estimated that quad bike injuries that involved the use of a helmet were far more fatal and deadly than that of the dirt bike injuries. This fact truly makes quad bike killers. People are more likely to lose their lives in ATV accidents rather than a dirt bike accident.
Are Quad Bikes Legal in the UK?
Not all quad bikes can be used on the road in the UK because they are incredibly dangerous. Quad bikes need to be approved before they can be used on the road.
Most of the quad bikes are unable to meet the necessary road safety instructions, and therefore they can not be ridden in the streets. For someone to Ride an ATV on the street in the UK, it must be registered with DVLA so it can be equipped with a front and rear number plate.
If you are riding a quad bike for more than three years and are finally trained and confident enough to hit the roads, you need a Ministry of Transport (MOT) certificate.
Additionally, you will also require third part insurance to take your quad bike on the public roads. Finally, if you wish to carry passengers with you, make sure your quad bike allows you to do so and has the seats.
It is illegal to transport passengers around on a quad bike if it does not support them. If you do not know whether your quad bike supports passengers, you should ask your manufacturer about it.
For more info, see my article ‘Are Quad Bikes really legal in the UK? here
Is License Required To Ride A Quad Bike?
To ride a quad bike in the UK, you need to own a driving license. This law only applies if you wish to ride the quad bike on a public road. You require a full driving license to operate the quad bike on the road, but first, you have to make it legal.
Finally, if you have a category B1 license with yourself, you can ride a quad bike on the roads within the UK.
Is It Easy To Ride A Quad Bike?
Quad bikes look like they are incredibly easy to ride, but in fact, they are not. If you are not good at distributing your body weight or adjusting your body positions with the quad bike according to the terrain, you will find riding one incredibly hard. This skill requires a lot of time to develop and needs precision and accuracy.
A beginner must consider a bike that adjusts to his size and weight accordingly. Quad bikes come in different weights; therefore, if you are still confused, then on average, it is estimated that 350 kg quad bike is recommended for beginners.
Similarly, 400 kg quad bikes are recommended for general use, particularly for farmers, and 550 kg quad bikes are used during extreme riding.
Best Quad Bike For A Beginner
Despite knowing all the downsides of an ATV, if you’re still thinking of taking on the adventure of riding a quad bike, then you should go for the following Quad Bike. These Quad bikes will provide you with much-needed experience in handling a quad bike and avoiding fatalities and injuries in the future. The following are the best quad bikes recommended for a beginner rider.
- Honda Recon 250
- Suzuki Ozark 250
- Yamaha Bruin 250
These ATVs are not fast; therefore, they easily control off-road tracks relative to other ATVs such as Yamaha raptor 700, which is considered one of the fastest ATVs in the world.
One should always keep in mind the safety tips before riding an ATV because sometimes when someone wishes to seek thrill, he or she ends up losing their life or suffer from injuries that change the entire life up ahead.
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