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ATV Industry Opposes Rollover Devices on safety Grounds

Australia’s peak body for the automotive industry, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) together with the Australian All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) industry, comprising the leading distributors, have today called for proposals for the use of rollover devices on ATVs to be rejected. 

Reports released last week by Dynamic Research Inc. (DRI), an internationally recognised firm specialising in applied research in the areas of vehicle dynamics and controls, simulator technology and accident investigation, confirmed that Rollover Protection Systems (ROPS) and Crush Protective Devices (CPDs) on ATVs can cause unacceptably high levels of harm in comparison to their benefits. 

Updated research into one type of locally-produced CPD found that it caused more harm than it prevented in the sample of overturns examined, regardless of whether a helmet was worn. 

Cameron Cuthill, FCAI Motorcycle Manager, said “The ATV industry will continue to put the safety of riders first by opposing the use of rollover devices in Australia. 

“The findings of the DRI research report cannot be disputed. The research is state-of-technology and is based upon published research and relevant portions of international research standards, as expected of a quality report. It confirms that rollover devices, and in particular so-called ‘crush protective devices’, should not be fitted to ATVs,” he said. 

The ATV industry is highly concerned that recent calls by certain interest groups for rollover devices to be mandated is based on flawed logic, misinformation and research which does not adhere to relevant international standards. 

Mr Cuthill noted “Studies conducted in Australia attempting to make a case for CPDs are very limited, don’t follow international standards, and have not involved any practical tests undertaken with injury monitoring crash dummies to verify the validity of the assumptions upon which they rely.” 

The ATV industry urges all stakeholders and commentators to carefully review the findings of the DRI report which can be found at http://www.dri-atv-rops-research.com/ and, in light of those findings, to reconsider the claims made by suppliers of CPDs, and by their supporters. 

The DRI research included refinements to ATV accident scenario simulations to specifically address previous concerns raised by local interest groups. 

Across more than 1,500 computer simulations conducted for helmeted riders, a locally produced CPD product was found to have, on average, injury and fatality risks that exceeded its potential benefits. When extended to all overturns that might occur, the new research indicated the CPD would cause approximately as many injuries for helmeted riders as it prevented. 

For un-helmeted riders on an ATV fitted with the same device, the respective injury and fatality risk/benefit percentages indicated that the device would cause significantly more injuries and fatalities than it would prevent. 

The ATV industry will continue to push for safety interventions with known positive benefits. 

All ATV riders should be appropriately trained to operate the vehicle, always wear a helmet, not carry more than the approved number of passengers, and only use the vehicle for its intended purposes. Children under 16 years of age should never be allowed on an adult-sized ATV. 

“ATVs are not toys and should not be treated as such,” said Mr Cuthill.

“Unfortunately, while the focus remains on rollover devices, real solutions will continue to be ignored. Attention should instead be maintained on helmet use, training and keeping children off full-size ATVs.” 

For further information contact:
Sheena Ireland, Communications Manager
P: 02 6229 8221
M: 0458 038 555
E: sheena.ireland@fcai.com.au