Quad Bike Performance Project

Since 2001, more than 210 Australians have died in quad-bike incidents. Of the 23 quad-bike deaths recorded in 2011, 18 occurred on farms, making quad bikes the leading cause of injury and death on Australian farms. As a strategy to reduce injuries and fatalities from quad-bike use on farms, the Quad Bike Performance Project conducted by researchers from Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research aimed to develop a consumer safety rating system for quad bikes. This strategy is part of a Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) attempt to reduce the high toll of fatal and serious injuries associated with the use of quad bikes in the farming environment.

The results of this project will enable the development of a quad-bike safety rating system for stability, handling, and crashworthiness. Such a rating system would potentially lead to major improvements in vehicle design and safety, and a likely consequent reduction in the number of on-farm fatalities and injuries, similarly to what has been recently achieved by the rating system already used for motor vehicles, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). In fact, safety ratings empowers the consumer to make a choice with vehicle safety considerations factored, thus encouraging design change by the manufacturer, which might not otherwise occur.

Funding for this major project was provided by the Workcover Authority of NSW with a contribution from the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC). UNSW TARS lead researcher for The Quad Bike Performance Project (QBPP) is Professor Raphael Grzebieta. The UNSW TARS Project Manager for the QBPP is Associate Professor (Adj.) George Rechnitzer. Sub-project leading consultants for the dynamic handling tests and for the analysis of fatality data were Mr. Keith Simmons and Prof. (Adj.) Andrew McIntosh, respectively. All tests were carried out at the NSW Roads and Maritime Crashlab crash testing facility managed by Mr. Ross dal Nevo.

Project Managers for NSW Workcover are Mr. Tony Williams (A/Director, Operations Group, WorkCover NSW Safety, Return to Work and Support) and Ms. Di Vaughan (Principal Project Manager, Work Health and Safety Division).
 
A short video prepared by NSW Workcover summarises the issues concerning quad-bike fatalities, the aims of the Quad Bike Performance Project, what tests and how they were carried out, and an overview of what information consumers in a workplace environment can expect to obtain from the project results.
 
 
Static stability test for identifying the critical forward pitch angle of a Honda TRX-500 quad bike.
Left to right: Mr Peter Dunphy Executive Director Work Health & Safety Division at WorkCover NSW, Prof. Raphael Grzebieta, Prof. (Adj.) George Rechnitzer and previous Minister for Finance and MP Greg Pearce.
 

Quad Bike Performance Project Reports (Released August 3, 2015)
 
The five major project reports are now available for public access. These reports can be freely distributed with due acknowlegements to the report Authors and project funders (i.e.,  NSW Workcover and the ACCC). Full acknowledgement for contributions to the Project are made within each Report.
Three internationally distinguished peer reviewers were chosen who have extensive experience and are world leaders with respect to vehicle safety and Consumer Safety Star Rating of motorised vehicles, such as the New Car Assessment program (NCAP), independently assessed the reports. They were: Professor Claes Tingvall, retired ex-Director of Safety from the Swedish National Road Administration and ex-Director of EuroNCAP and trustee of Global NCAP; Mr Lauchlan McIntosh, Director of Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and trustee of Global NCAP and President of the Australasian College of Road Safety; and Mr. David Zuby, Senior Vice President of Vehicle Research for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Vehicle Research Center (USA). Their contributions are gratefully acknowledged.

Any enquiries concerning these reports or the QBPP can be made to Prof. Raphael Grzebieta.

Final Project Reports
Main Summary Report
Supporting Reports
  • Grzebieta R, Rechnitzer G, Simmons K. (2015) 'Static Stability Test Results', Quad Bike Performance Project TARS Research Report No 1, submitted to the WorkCover Authority of New South Wales, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
    • Report 1 Static Stability Test Results - Appendix C
  • Grzebieta R, Rechnitzer G, Simmons K. (2015) 'Dynamic Handling Test Results', Quad Bike Performance Project TARS Research Report No 2, submitted to the WorkCover Authority of New South Wales, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
    • Report 2 Dynamic Handling Test Results -  Appendix D
  • Grzebieta R, Rechnitzer G, McIntosh A. (2015) 'Rollover Crashworthiness Test Results', Quad Bike Performance Project TARS Research Report No 3, submitted to the WorkCover Authority of New South Wales, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
    • Report 3 Rollover Crashworthiness Test Results - Appendix B
  • Grzebieta R.H., Rechnitzer G., McIntosh A., Mitchell R., Patton D., and Simmons K., (2014). 'Investigation and Analysis of Quad Bike and Side By Side (SSV) Fatalities and Injuries', Quad Bike Performance Project (QBPP) Report 3-2014: Supplemental Report, Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research Report, submitted to The WorkCover Authority of New South Wales, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
 
 Journal and Conference Publications
 
Media coverage