PhD research: Quads and kids: Understanding parents' beliefs and attitudes around the use of quad bikes

Since 2001 there have been more than 200 quad bike fatalities in Australia. Additionally, in the last 6 years alone, there have been more than 115 fatalities related to quad bikes. Of all the fatalities since 2001, children under the age of 16 years make up nearly 20% of all fatalities. As with injuries, during a 5-year period up until 2013, children accounted for nearly 30% of all recreational hospitalisations. As such, the development of safety messages around the use of quads for kids is needed to challenge or support the current beliefs and attitudes, and ultimately, reduce fatalities and injuries in children on quads.

This PhD research utilised a Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) framework to explore the beliefs and predictors of quad bike use in children. These beliefs were then developed into safety messages that would be relevant for quad bike awareness campaigns. The aim of these safety messages are to challenge the current beliefs around the use of quads for kids.


The research findings from the current project identified a number of critical beliefs that were associated with parent’s allowing their child to ride a quad bike as the driver. The beliefs that were identified as predictors of parents’ intentions to allow their child to ride a quad bike was: (1) getting tasks completed; (2) believing that their parents approved; (3) believing their partner/spouse approved; and (4) increasing cultural concern around the safety of quad bikes. The safety messages developed in this project were based on each of the above-mentioned beliefs identified.


Study into children’s use of quad bikes driving future safety campaigns

Funding / Grants

  • Australian Government Research Training Program