Protect yourself from quad rollovers

An average of 15 Albertans die each year while 
on quads, and rollovers are the leading cause

Horizontal motion portrait of a man in gray sport jacket and safety helmet and goggles driving mud-covered yellow ATV 4x4 quad bike with dirt spinning of the wheels.
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Recent research has proven a crush-protection device on a quad can reduce deaths due to rollovers by 30 per cent.

“Quads are great machines for use on the farm because of where they can go and the tasks they can do,” said Don Voaklander, director of the Injury Prevention Centre at the University of Alberta. “Quads have a high centre of gravity, a narrow wheel base, and low-pressure tires that allow them to travel into places and over rough ground that few other vehicles can handle. However, these features also make them unstable and prone to rolling over.”

Rollovers are the leading cause of death to quad riders. An average of 15 Albertans die each year while riding quads, with seven fatalities caused by rollovers. The average quad weighs between 350 and 400 pounds, with some reaching 600 pounds.

“Body armour and other protective gear offer little protection in the case of a rollover. Even a helmet doesn’t guarantee you won’t suffer a severe head injury if the quad rolls,” said Voaklander.

A crush-protection device is a hairpin or circular device mounted on the quad behind the rider. It extends to around the height of the rider’s head. Studies have found it does not interfere with handling or comfort, with riders saying they forget that it is there.

Should the quad lose balance and begin to roll, the device can stop its motion, leaving the quad tipped on its side. If the quad has too much momentum and keeps rolling, it creates a space under the quad for the rider.

The devices range in price from about $660 to $1,360; can be mounted onto most quads; and are sold with instructions so an owner can mount it themselves.

“Make your quad safer by adding a crush-protection device,” said Voaklander. It is a small price to pay to avoid deadly quad injuries.”

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