Quad Bikes Cost Lives campaign

Title translated into English

Quad Bikes Cost Lives campaign

Film: Duration in minutes

0.5 minutes


Around 94% of New South Wales (NSW) farmers own a quad bike, despite the fact they are the number one cause of fatalities and serious injuries on Australian farms. Since 2001 there have been more than 240 deaths across Australia involving quad bikes on farms, and around one third of these occurred in NSW.

Older farmers continue to be most at risk, as they show the greatest resistance to changing their behaviour and adopting safety measures. These farmers are ingrained in their ways of working; they’ve used quad bikes for years and have the attitude that ‘it won’t happen to me’.

Independent research showed this is particularly true for two segments of farmers, known as the ‘fatalist’ and ‘libertine’ segments who comprise of approximately 33% of the farming community in NSW.

‘Fatalists’ focus on work over safety – they’re not against safety, but their attitude is ‘whatever will be, will be’. ‘Libertines’ aren’t safety conscious, and they resist change and government intervention. SafeWork NSW has been focused on moving the ‘fatalist’ and libertine’ segments into the ‘safety driven’ and ‘responsible’ segments. The ‘safety driven’ actively apply safe practices on the farm commercially and personally, while the ‘responsible’ are safety conscious, but assesses risk based on their own perceived ability.

Research also showed that 90% of farmers know that quad bikes are dangerous. With nearly 50% admitting to near misses, 32% to incidents and 13% to serious injuries. Yet 94% of farmers still own a quad bike and still choose them for most tasks.

There is a continued need to educate farmers of the dangers of using quad bikes, and to increase the adoption of positive behaviours and safety measures, such as helmet use and roll bars. SafeWork NSW is focused on the continued advocacy of quad bike safety with its dedicated Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program. Farmers could also benefit from increased awareness of SafeWork NSW’s rebate and training program, which offers free quad bike training, as well as money to go towards the purchase of a safer side-by-side vehicle, operator protective devices, drones and compliant helmets.

The ‘Quad Bikes Cost Lives’ campaign ran from 8–30 June 2019 to educate farmers, particularly among the fatalist and libertine segments.

The objectives of the campaign were to:

  • continue to raise awareness of the dangers of quad bikes among the fatalist and libertine segments
  • increase awareness of the magnitude of quad bike incidents – both the health and financial implications
  • drive uptake of both the quad bike rebates and training, as well as other protective measures, such as installing roll bars.

The campaign used the following channels:

  • television
  • social media
  • online video


Post campaign evaluation research showed the ‘safety driven’ segment of the libertines and fatalist had positive shifts.

The campaign had strong cut through, with 51% awareness of the tv ad and 53% of the print ad. Overall the campaign was seen very positively by the target audience, with almost three-quarters (73%) of research respondents liking it and only 4% rating it poorly.

Those aware of the campaign have a higher general awareness of ways to protect themselves from quad bike accidents, and of the SafeWork NSW Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program in general.  

Those aware of the Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program rose from 87% in January 2019 to 91% post campaign. Survey respondents were also more likely to ensure that they, and others working or living on the farm, wear a helmet when on a quad bike.

The campaign also resulted in a significant increase in traffic to the Quad Bike webpage on the SafeWork NSW website. This webpage typically sees about 537 monthly unique visits. This figure rose to 14,155 during the campaign.


There was a need to show farmers that the cost of a quad bike incident costs more than just money; it can have a knock-on effect on health, the ability to run the farm effectively and subsequently to pay the bills on time. It doesn’t just impact the farmer, but their family and community too.


Our research showed that the three most confronting situations that keep farmers awake at night are:

  1. living life in a body not capable of doing what it needs to do
  2. losing the farm
  3. their actions affecting their family


The ‘Quad Bikes Cost Lives’ campaign was developed off the back of the key insight that a quad bike incident could cost the farm, or even worse – a life.


There are many things out of a farmer’s control that could send their farm under – such as drought, diseased crops, bushfires, storms and flood. But there’s another thing that could do just as much damage to a farmer’s future, and it’s totally within their control to prevent – and that’s a quad bike incident.


The campaign imagery of a crashed, overturned quad bike is a striking reminder of the reality a quad bike incident and the physical danger they present. Complimenting this with messaging and imagery of a farm being sold provided a poignant illustration of the repercussions of quad bike incidents beyond physical harm.


  • The primary campaign message reflects this – ‘Quad bikes cost lives’.
  • This is then backed up with clear calls to action, ‘Install a roll bar. Rebates apply’
  • And finishes with a prompt to get more information from the SafeWork NSW website.


Quad bikes are the number one cause of fatalities and serious injuries on NSW farms, with quad bike ownership at 94% among NSW farmers. NSW accounts for around one third of national quad bike injuries and fatalities. Since 2001 there have been more than 240 deaths across Australia involving quad bikes on farms.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) estimates the national cost of quad bike and side-by-side vehicle deaths and injuries is approximately 200 million dollars a year.


Quad bikes are also singled out in the Work health and safety roadmap for NSW 2022 as a high impact harm that should be reduced ‘towards zero’ by 2022.


The SafeWork NSW Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program offers support to NSW farmers to undertake harm prevention activities for the use of quad bikes.

The program includes a small business quad bike safety rebate and training package to reduce deaths and injuries on NSW farms.


The aims of the program are to ensure:

  • farmers engage in safe work practices to reduce the risks associated with quad bikes
  • safer work practices regarding quad bikes become the norm in rural workplaces
  • data collection methods for incidents involving quad bikes are improved
  • the research community, co-regulators, manufacturers and the NSW farming community develop a deeper understanding of factors that lead to quad bike incidents
  • farmers increase their knowledge about safe plant and safe work practices.

Target Group

All primary producers across regional New South Wales, Australia.



Contact details Editor / Production company

SafeWork NSW
92-100 Donnison Street, au-2250 Gosford