Excellent weather conditions, rugged terrain and extreme sports enthusiasts makes South Africa the perfect spot for off road quad biking. Hundreds of adrenaline junkies ranging from 3 to almost 100 years cover millions of miles each year, seeking the ultimate motor sport challenge. Quad bikers strive to go faster, jump higher and drive to the end of the world! Unfortunately, as with most sports, quad biking has its risks and subsequent injuries that from time to time follow.
Most accidents are caused by fast, fearless riding combined with a very harsh environment. Due to the lack of sufficient protective attire, especially head protection, accidental falls may prove to be fatal.
Injuries can range from minor bruising and lacerations to more serious head injuries. Fortunately most injuries can be treated by first aiders and the lay public. Quad bikers commonly sustain broken bones including the wrists, forearms and ankles. Dislocation of the shoulder and elbow has also been noted after a fall. The most dangerous injuries are sustained following a rollover or bike crash. This may include serious spinal injuries, blunt or penetrating head, chest and abdominal injuries, as well as a broken pelvis or severe bleeding.
How to avoid injuries and illness?
- Don’t drink and drive
- Always follow the code of the road.
- If possible attend quad school to learn the basic techniques on riding a quad bike
- Wear appropriate protective kit, especially an SABS approved helmet at the very least. It is advised to wear boots and chest protective gear as well as this can prevents many injuries.
- Be aware of your personal limitations – speeding poses great risk to you and your fellow riders.
- Beware of other riders, children and animals - keep safe following distances.
- Always be aware of the changing road and weather conditions
- Keep drinking water on you to avoid dehydration
- Keep a small first aid kit on you and if possible attend a first aid course. You might save a life!
What to do in an emergency?
- Call for assistance by dialling 082 911 or the local emergency services
- State the nature of the incident, the exact location, number of patients involved and a contact telephone number
- Follow telephonic instructions provided by the emergency call taker
- In off road conditions, send a bystander to the closest main road to direct the ambulance to the scene of the accident. If the accident is in an area that is difficult to access by road, a helicopter might be sent to take the patient to hospital. The call taker will ask questions about where the aircraft will be able to land.
- Only move the patient if there is a direct threat to his life
- Keep the patient warm with a blanket or jacket
- Do not administer any oral fluids, alcohol or medication
- Stop severe bleeding by applying a pressure dressing or clean towel to the wound
Serious bike injuries can be avoided by sticking to the rules. Remember, you are responsible for your own safety!
ATV'S / Quad Bikes & Children
Road Safety And Response Time To Accidents
[Information provided by Netcare 911]