July 18th, 2024

Rollovers a tipping point in quad riding

By Submitted Article on July 31, 2020.

Here are some tips to keep you safe

Katrina Whiteman


Overturning your quad can have deadly consequences; follow these tips for a safe ride.

Rollovers kill and seriously injure more riders than any other type of quadding incident, causing more than half of the deaths in Alberta. On average, 14 people die every year while riding quads. More than 700 people are admitted to hospital and over 5,500 go to emergency departments for treatment. Hit the trails safely this summer with these points in mind.

Why Do Quads Roll?

Quads are built with a high centre of gravity. This allows them to travel over rough terrain, but it also makes them tip over easily. Quads roll from riding up, down or across a hill that is too steep, from overloading the quad with passengers or cargo, or from driving too fast. Even riding on level ground and turning too sharply will cause a rollover. Read the terrain and gauge your speed appropriately.

People look at All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) or quads and think they look stable with the four large, low-pressure tires and are easy to ride. In fact, ATVs are not safe to ride on all terrains and riders need to actively use their body weight to keep the machines upright.

Keep Your Quad Upright

Follow these steps to avoid a quad rollover:

– Active riding, or using your body weight and position to maintain the upright position of the quad, is a skill all quad riders need to learn and use when operating a machine in order to prevent a rollover. Take a quad safety course to learn how to active ride.

– Ride the right-sized quad. Your quad must be the appropriate size for your weight and strength. If you are too small or too big for a machine, your active riding will not be able to keep it upright. This means children are no match for an adult-sized quad and smaller adults need to choose their machines carefully.

– Don’t ride double! Riding with a passenger on a quad built for one reduces a driver’s ability to counter the rolling forces of a quad.

– Consider a Crush Protection Device (CPD). CPDs are accessories that can be purchased and mounted on some quads. They rise approximately to the level of the rider’s head and in the event of a rollover, either stop the quad on its side or create a space for the rider under the quad should it roll upside down.

– Ride sober. Alcohol was found in the blood of more than half (55 per cent) of the drivers who died quadding. Of those, most (75 per cent) were over the criminal code limit of 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC).

– Wear a helmet. It’s the law, but eight out of 10 people who died of a head injury weren’t wearing one.

Check out a safe riding video featuring Jason Maas, formerly quarterback for the Edmonton Eskimos, and other resources on the Injury Prevention Centre website, https://injurypreventioncentre.ca/campaigns/quad_safety.

Katrina Whiteman is the Communications Co-ordinator with the University of Alberta’s Injury Prevention Centre.

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