Doha, 6 November 2023: The Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP) of the Hamad Trauma Center is encouraging every rider, driver and their families to be aware of the “Know Before You Go” safety tips and recommendations to stay safe on their quad bikes or all-terrain vehicles [ATVs] during this year’s camping season.
The advice comes as data from the Qatar National Trauma Registry shows that 56 patients received moderate to severe injuries last year as a result of ATV use at the Sealine or Mesaieed areas, while 40 percent of these injured patients were younger than 15 years old.
“There is much to be learned from this collaborative data analysis that serves as the basis for our safety recommendations. Every family in Qatar, that engages in activities using off-road vehicles, must know and implement them to make their camping season safe and injury-free,” said Dr. Rafael Consunji, Director of the HIPP, which is the community outreach arm of the Hamad Trauma Center.
Dr. Consunji further explained that most quad bikes are designed for one operator alone; their weight and power must be managed by the driver. The operator must have enough strength, counterweight, training and experience to drive an ATV safely.
“More than 40 percent of ATV victims are younger than 15 years old. Quad bikes are not toys; their size, power and weight require complex decision-making, impulse control and strength, which are not present in young children,” said Dr. Aisha Abeid, Assistant Director of the HIPP.
“Quad bikes are designed for responsible use by fully trained and mature adults. For these reasons, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons does not recommend that children younger than 12 years old operate quad bikes and that those with more than 90 cc in engine size should never be operated by persons younger than 16 years of age,” explained Dr. Abeid.
HIPP “Know Before You Go” safety tips
- Young children should not operate ATVs/quad bikes
- Do not operate quad bikeswithout PPE. Helmets, gloves, ankle boots and protective eyewear are needed to protect the quad bike driver in the event of a crash.
- ATVs should be used in designated areas and locationsonly. These as these locations are under the direct supervision of the responsible authorities, like the Traffic Department, Mawater or Qatar Tourism and they are safely designed, maintained and monitored. Furthermore, the HMC Ambulance Service is present in these areas, to provide immediate medical response if needed.
- No passengers should be allowed on a quad bike, unless it is specially designed for passengers. About 25 percent of all victims are injured as passengers.
- Avoid peak periods of activity. Half of victims were injured on Fridays, between 2pm and 10pm. The congestion and density of different kinds of off-road vehicles added to the mix of experience levels and driving expertise makes this period the most dangerous.
- Ride responsibly: The most common injury mechanisms are collisions and rollovers. Collisions may be with fixed objects [suddenly appearing walls, posts etc], with another quad bike or with other vehicles. Children are more likely to be injured in collisions or in lateral rollovers while adults were most injured in backward rollovers, a common mechanism when ascending hills or dunes or doing ``wheelies'' or stunts.
- Quad bikes are for off-road use only, they do not have the necessary features to turn, accelerate and mix with other motorized traffic and should not be driven on regular roads.