More than half of quad bike fatalities between 2011 and 2016 involved rollovers.
While quad bikes have become as ubiquitous as utes on farms, their safety features have yet to catch up with their popularity.
Angus Onisforou, a Kangaloon HSC candidate has taken up this challenge, and created a device that he hopes will reduce the risk of rolling a quad bike.
“It’s different to everything else in the market. Most quad bike accidents happen at low speeds, around 5km, and mostly because people driving them don’t know what angle they’re at,” Mr Onisforou said.
The Quad Safe early warning system is a device that can be retrofitted to any quad bike, motor scooter or golf cart. It is designed to sound an alarm if the vehicle should tip more than 21 degrees in any direction.
“Quad Safe tells you what angle you’re at and alerts the driver with sounds to let the them know they’re at a dangerous angle,” Mr Onisforou said.
“I’ve rolled a quad bike, my Dad’s rolled a quad bike, all the guys that work on our farm have rolled a quad bike, I was even talking to Malcolm Turnbull recently and he said he’d rolled a quad bike. Everyone I’ve talked to that’s ridden a quad bike, it’s happened to them. This device aims to stop that,” he said.
According to Safe Work Australia, none of the quad bike fatalities that occurred between 2011 and 2016 had any form of rollover protection and while there are devices on the market that aim to minimise the impact once a quad bike has rolled over, none work to prevent a rollover from occurring in the first place.
“This device mitigates the risk of rolling to begin with. Ensuring you know your angle so you can prevent your bike from tipping,” Mr Onisforou said.
Many ideas can seem so simple that it is surprising to find they don’t already exist and Mr Onisforou said he had been overwhelmed with positive feedback, exemplifying the need for such a product on the market.
“I’ve had many people contact me wanting to purchase the product, I got an offer from an industry expert who I went to for advice while I was making the device. But I’ve decided to follow through with the patent myself and further develop it, market it and sell it,” he said.
All after he’s finished his HSC, of course.