Quad Bikes

QUAD BIKING

Quad bikes, also known as all-terrain vehicles or ATVs, are essentially four-wheeled motorbikes. The first production-model ATV was made by Honda in 1970, but with three wheels it was relatively unstable. The first quad to be mass-produced for recreational use was Suzuki's Quad-Runner LT125, which came on the market in 1983.

Quads can have either manual or automatic transmission, and steering is done via a set of handlebars. The engines are similar to those of a motorbike, typically ranging from 50 to 1000cc.

Today's bikes fall into two broad categories: "sport" ATVs are two-wheel drive and capable of speeds of up to 120kph; while four-wheel-drive utility vehicles are primarily designed to handle rough terrain and have a top speed of around 100kph.

Because of its popularity, Quad Biking has also found its way in to competitive sport. Locally, Motorsport South Africa (MSA) is responsible for issuing licenses and regulating the races. The two major disciplines for regulated quad racing are closed circuit motocross and national off-roads.

Quad Biking as an extreme sport
Quad Biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. In South Africa there are estimated 50, 000 quad bike owners and there are over 4, 000 people who participate in races regulated by Motorsport SA.

But with the huge number of participants, this has unfortunately also brought about many accidents, fatalities and injuries. Injuries can range from minor bruising and lacerations to more serious head injuries. Quad bikers commonly sustain broken bones including the wrists, forearms and ankles. Dislocation of the shoulder and elbow has also been noted after a fall. The most dangerous injuries are sustained following a rollover or bike crash. This may include serious spinal injuries, blunt or penetrating head, chest and abdominal injuries, as well as a broken pelvis or severe bleeding.

Unfortunately statistical information on quad bike accidents and fatalities are very scarce. At present the Road Traffic Management Corporation compiles all the fatal crash accidents and quad bike accidents are grouped with three other groupings of motorcycles under a category for motorcycle accidents. An additional important factor impacting on data collection is that most of these accidents occur on private property since quad bikes are not allowed on public roads.

Statistics on quad biking from America are: (www.wikipedia.com)
5,791 Quad / ATV related deaths have been reported in the United States since 1982
In 2005 there were an estimated 136,700 injuries associated with ATVs treated in US hospital emergency      rooms.
According to United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, the risk of injury in 2005 was 171.5 injuries      per 10,000 four-wheel ATVs in use.

How Quad Biking is accessed by the medical aid and life insurance companies?
All major life insurance and medical aid companies in South Africa are gradually starting to treat quad biking as an extreme sport. More injuries and deaths to quad bikers equate to more claims having to be paid, and this means lower profits.

Click here to get more information with regards to:
How insurance companies access the risk of quad bikers and what the exclusions are.
Making 100% sure your current polices are covered for quad biking
Contacting the company

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