HMC shares lessons learned from patients injured in quad bike accidents

HMC shares lessons learned from patients injured in quad bike accidents

By QLNews

As several people head out to camping sites to enjoy the cool weather, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has shared a series of recommendations to help the citizens and residents of Qatar keep safe when using quad bikes or all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

The Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP) team has studied data from 1,188 ATV-related trauma cases from the Qatar National Trauma Registry, Al Wakra Hospital, and the HMC Ambulance Service, HMC said in a press statement.

The victims were injured at Sealine or Mesaieed area while using off-road vehicles between November to March for three seasons, 2017 to 2018, 2018 to 2019, and 2019 to 2020.

Dr. Rafael Consunji, Director of the HIPP, said, “There is much to be learned from this collaborative effort that serves as the basis for our safety recommendations.”

“Quad bikes are designed for one single operator, their weight and power must be managed by the driver. He/she must have enough strength, counterweight, training, and experience to drive one safely,” he pointed out.

“Some ATV rental outlets in Qatar do not rent out to children, younger than 18 years, this is the globally accepted safest and recommended practice. Families must see to it that young children do not drive or ride ATVs,” Dr Consunji added.

An ATV crash can cause serious injuries such as permanent paralysis or brain damage.

The statement includes the below suggestions for quad bike/ ATV users to reduce the chance of both injuries, in case of a crash:

Parents and ATV rental agencies should not allow young children, to operate quad bikes. 

Almost one-third of all victims were between the ages of 11 to 15 years. 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.

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 90cc in (engine) size should never be operated by persons under 16 years of age.

No passengers should be allowed on a quad bike, unless it is specially designed for passengers

About a quarter of all victims were injured as passengers. Quad bikes are designed for only one user, the driver or operator.

To drive a quad bike safely, one must be able to adjust one’s position and shift weight in response to sudden changes in direction, speed and terrain.

Riding with or as a passenger increases the chance that weight imbalance and instability will occur.

These result in rollovers and crashes; another reason that small children, with low body weights, should not be riding or driving quad bikes.

Avoid peak periods of activity to reduce the risk of injury

Half of the victims were injured on Fridays, between 2 pm and 10 pm.

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-risky for all.

It is best to go at a time when fewer enthusiasts are using the course and to only use areas that are under the direct supervision of the responsible authorities, like the Traffic Department, Mawater or the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Do not operate quad bikes without protective gear such as a helmet

The majority of injuries affected body parts that can easily be protected by the proper PPE; the head, arms, legs, feet, eyes and face were most commonly affected.

Helmets, gloves, ankle boots and protective eyewear are needed to protect the quad bike driver in the event of a crash.

Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are also recommended to protect the vulnerable knees and elbows from cuts and scratches

Leave the stunt driving to professionals

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 commonly injured in backward rollovers, a common mechanism when ascending hills or dunes or doing "wheelies'' or stunts.

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Source: HMC 
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