Roll bars on quad bikes may significantly reduce injuries and deaths when the machines roll sideways, according to a US Government study.
The study, which was commissioned by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, used different quad bike models and a test dummy to test roll bars in rollover accidents at low or moderate speed.
Quad bikes are popular in places like the Beaudesert district where farmers use them as a handy way of getting around, particularly on dairies. Drovers also commonly use them.,
They have also become popular as recreational vehicles but the high number of accidents has seen the federal government introduce tough safety standards to cut the toll. Major manufacturers have been campaigning hard against the restrictions.
Since 2011, 149 people have died from quad bike accidents in Australia, 23 of whom have been children.
Six people a day end up in a hospital emergency department as a result of quad bike use.
The report comes ahead of the government's new quad bike safety standard becoming mandatory next month.
Under the law all new and second hand imported quad bikes must have a test tag attached indicating the angle at which they will rollover, and from October 2021 must have roll bars fitted.
The US report includes the result of lateral rollover tests conducted on six bike models fitted with roll bars and compared them with tests without bars.
ACCC deputy chairman Mick Keogh said the low speed tests were conducted in scenarios that in many ways mimiced Australian conditions and typical quad bike use.
"The study used state of the art testing equipment including test dummies with sophisticated electronic sensors, and is perhaps the most rigorous real-world test of OPDs yet conducted. The results support the ACCC's view that OPDs are likely to save lives," he said.
"In low speed lateral rollover tests involving a quad bike with an OPD, significant impact between the quad bike and the crash test dummy was virtually eliminated."
"In contrast, in rollover tests of the same model quad bikes without an OPD, the test dummy was struck more than five times more often," Mr Keogh said.
Research indicates that in Australia, 80 per cent of quad bike accidents that have resulted in serious injury occurred at or below the low speeds tested.
One of the quad bikes tested rolled faster and further, showing the importance of the government's minimum stability requirements.
"Poorer performing vehicles like this one will no longer be able to be sold in Australia once the stability requirements become mandatory," Mr Keogh said.