Know Before You Go: HMC Offers ATV Safety Advice as Camping Season Begins
The Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP) of Hamad Trauma Center under Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is encouraging every rider, driver and their families to be aware of the Know Before You Go safety tips and recommendations to stay safe on their quad bikes or all-terrain vehicles (ATV) during this year’s camping season.
Qatar National Trauma Registry shows that 56 patients received moderate to severe injuries last year as a result of ATV use in the Sealine and Mesaieed areas. Forty per cent of these injured patients were younger than 15 years old.
According to HIPP Director Dr Rafael Consunji, there is much to be learned from the collaborative data analysis that serves as the basis for their safety recommendations. He said that every family in Qatar that engages in activities using off-road vehicles, must know and implement these precautions to make their camping season safe and injury-free. HIPP is the community outreach arm of the Hamad Trauma Center.
Dr Consunji further explained that most quad bikes are designed for one operator alone; their weight and power must be managed by the driver. The operator must have enough strength, counterweight, training, and experience to drive an ATV safely.
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, says HIPP Assistant Director Dr Aisha Abeid.
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 more than 90cc in engine size should never be operated by persons younger than 16 years old, explained Dr Abeid.
Know Before You Go safety tips from HIPP
- Young children should not operate ATVs and/or quad bikes
- Do not operate quad bikes without PPE. Helmets, gloves, ankle boots and protective eyewear are needed to protect the quad bike driver in the event of a crash.
- ATVs should be used in designated areas and locations only. These locations are under the direct supervision of responsible authorities, like the Traffic Department, Mawater or Qatar Tourism and they are safely designed, maintained and monitored. Furthermore, the HMC Ambulance Service is present in these areas, to provide immediate medical response if needed.
- No passengers should be allowed on a quad bike unless it is specially designed for passengers. About 25 per cent of all victims are injured as passengers.
- Avoid peak periods of activity. Fifty per cent of 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 make this period the most dangerous.
- Ride responsibly. 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 lateral rollovers while adults are most injured in backward rollovers, a common mechanism when ascending hills or dunes or doing ‘wheelies’ or stunts.
- Quad bikes are for off-road use only, they do not have the necessary features to turn, accelerate and mix with other motorised traffic and should not be driven on regular roads.
For information on HMC’s Hamad Injury Prevention Program, visit hamad.qa.
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