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Adoption of quad bike crush prevention devices on Australian dairy farms
journal contributionposted on 23.10.2018, 00:00 by T Lower, Mark Trotter
Quad bikes (all-terrain vehicles) are the leading cause of nonintentional farm injury deaths in Australia. Approximately 50% result from rollovers of the vehicle, with death frequently due to crush injury/asphyxiation. Crush protection devices fitted to quads have been demonstrated to enhance safety. This exploratory study aimed to assess feedback from a small group of dairy farmers (N = 11) that had crush protection devices fitted to their quads. A mixed-methods design was adopted consisting of pre- and post-intervention surveys in addition to focus groups/interviews for this exploratory study. Results indicate that the crush protection device was viewed positively by the majority of participants, with virtually no impact on the reported performance of the quad in terms of braking, steering, suspension, and getting on/off. The most problematic issue was some contact with overhead objects, although the majority reported no issues at all. Some issues were also identified with attaching trailers, carrying loads, and noise from rattling. The participants reported that the likely potential benefits of a crush protection device clearly outweighed these issues. Some 4 to 6 months following the study, 10 of the 11 farmers continued to have the crush protection device fitted to their quad. The major barrier to adoption was the manufacturers' resistance and negative public statements regarding the effectiveness of crush protection devices. Participants suggested that there are steps that can be taken to increase the uptake of crush protection devices by dairy farmers. Further lag in promoting these potentially life-saving devices will only add to the death and injury burden associated with quad bikes. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.