Off-road vehicles

Off road vehicles are 2-, 3- & 4-wheeled motorcycles with the 4-wheeled classified as quad bike off road vehicles.

Off road vehicles were first introduced in 1970 in USA for farm use only. They became increasingly popular for recreational activity and were downsized for adolescents and younger children by manufacturers due to popularity. This resulted in increased Emergency Department presentations and several deaths in children under the age of 15.

Quad bikes

Quad bikes should not be used by any child under the age of 16 (as a driver OR passenger). They do not have the skills and judgement to handle a powered motorcycle. Quad bikes are not All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and are prone to tipping and rolling when moving at speed or up hills.

On Friday 13th December 2013, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead held a symposium to discuss the current issues, trends and possible solutions with child injuries sustained from off road vehicles with a specific focus on quad bikes. The final report is available in the downloads section.

The following videos explain Alicia’s story of the day her brother Lachlan died after riding a quad bike on their family farm and Domenic's life threatening injuries after riding a quad bike.

The video below from SafeWork NSW presents research on quad bike safety and how dangerous they can be.


In 2009, a symposium was held to explore ways in which we may prevent off-road motorcycle injuries to children. It brought together industry representatives, injury and medical professionals, and members of the general public. The downloads section includes links to the program and presentations of the evening which may be relevant to those interested in the prevention of child injury, particularly from off-road motorcycle use.