ATV riders with operator protection devices (OPDs) fitted to their quad bikes are risking death or serious injury, according to one for the world’s foremost authorities on ATV safety.

With an international team of experts, US based Scott Kebschull, vice president and technical director of Dynamic Research, Inc., found OPDs, particularly the Quad Bar, should not be fitted to ATVs because of the risks of injury they could cause.

The conclusions were based on simulations, validated by full-scale tests, of 110 real-world rollover accident scenarios on incidents from the US and UK – the most thorough and current research in the world.

DRI’s research contradicts the recommendation of the ACCC to the Federal government that OPDs should be fitted to quad bikes to reduce the number of deaths and the severity of injury in the event of a roll-over. DRI has been involved in ATV safety research, including vehicle dynamics, stability, and crashworthiness for around 40 years. This also includes motorcycle and vehicle safety testing.

“The ACCC recommendation and the policies of WorkSafe in NSW and Victoria for the fitting of OPDs are putting riders at risk.,” Mr. Kebschull said.

“Our evidence highlights the wearing of safety helmets as the most effective device for reducing ATV injuries and deaths. It’s wear a helmet and ride safely.”

DRI’s research has also found OPDs caused as many rider injuries and fatalities as it prevented in 110 overturn events based on UK and US real-world accident scenarios.

The research also confirms the findings of the Deputy State Coroner Lock into a Queensland ATV incident inquest who did not make a finding for OPD fitment, but said more real-world data is required.

Since that time, data has been collected which shows that in real world accidents in Australia, CPDs have caused as many serious injuries as they have prevented.