Serious injuries involving quad bikes continue to increase in New Zealand despite greater awareness of quad bike safety, according to research released in August.
The researchers looked at six years of injury data in the Midland Health District in NZ's North Island.
They found 346 people had quad-bike-related injuries requiring hospitalisation in the region between 2012 and 2018.
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The study, reported in the New Zealand Medical Journal, did not include the 12 quad bike riders who died at the injury scene or while on the way to hospital nor those who were not admitted to hospital.
It found men had more than triple the number of hospitalisations of women and nearly 50 children aged under 16 were injured.
Some 70.2pc of injury events occurred on farm.
The study found an annual average increase of 7.3pc for all events occurring on a farm, a 2.6pc average increase for injuries occurring during a farming activity and a 4.7pc increase for off-farm recreational injuries.
The researchers said three areas of concern were uncovered by their research:
- Children continue to be injured, both as riders and passengers.
- Ageing farmers, who were more vulnerable.
- Injuries occurring outside of farm activities - either off-farm to recreational riders or on-farm but not during farming activities.
The study found there were 46 children under the age of 16 years hospitalised as a result of quad bike injuries.
Of these, five under the age of 10 were driving child-sized bikes.
Seven of the 13 aged 5-9 years were driving an adult-sized quad, as were 16 of the 20 children aged 10-14 years.
In total, seven children were injured in events happening on a road.
"The recent coronial reminder of the work yet to do in agriculture sits alongside calls that no children ride (or be passengers on) adult-sized quad bikes, with some advocating that all quad bikes are dangerous for children given their immature motor and cognitive development," the researchers said.
The research found most of the older males injured in quad bike accidents were driving a quad bike on a farm.
For males aged over 25 years, more than 70pc of injuries occurred on a farm.
Those aged over 75 years made up 3.2pc of patients, and for those patients all but one were injured on a farm.
The median age of all admitted patients was 39 years, with the median age for on-farm injuries being 41 years, though these injuries were not necessarily due to carrying out a farming activity.
For injuries occurring on a farm while a farming activity was being undertaken the median age was 45 years.
"Older riders are of interest for two particular reasons," the researchers said.
"Firstly, due to the physiological changes associated with ageing; and secondly, due to the ageing farming population within the Midland region.
"The ageing farmer workforce is a growing area of concern, and more research in our region is warranted."
This story first appeared on Australian Dairyfarmer