EXCLUSIVE: ATV manufacturers rely on flawed research when objecting to roll-over protection, according to leading Australian universities.
In a new report, Monash University researchers claimed US research conducted by the Dynamic Research Institute - which has formed the centrepiece of a campaign by manufacturers against the fitting of ROPS on ATVs - contained "major problems".
- READ MORE
- ATV manufacturers drop campaign
- ATV roll-bar plan
- Helmets compulsory for ATVs
- Tougher ATV laws required
It said in its opinion the research scenarios and assumptions caused a "substantial and unexplained shift in the nature of injuries predicted, dramatically over-predicting head injuries and virtually eliminating chest injuries".
The assumptions removed the chance for roll-over protection to decrease rider injuries, the report said.
A record 23 people were killed in accidents involving ATVs last year.
The Monash research was commissioned by WorkSafe Victoria and carried out by Dr Scott Wordley and Dr Bruce Field of the university's mechanical and aerospace engineering department.
"The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' strong opposition to the fitmet of CPDs (crush-protection devices) in general and the Quad Bar in particular was found to be based on the research produced by Failure Analysis Associates and DRI," the report said.
"Their reasons for rejecting such devices cannot be supported given the major problems with the research methodologies identified by this review," the report claimed.
The review considered 20 different research papers from around the world dating back to 1993, but said there were "only a small number of organisations worldwide that have published experimental tests or simulations relating to quad-bike roll overs".
The report called for a working group to be formed to work on future research activities and for a design and specification standard be developed.
WorkSafe Victoria spokesman Michael Birt said the review had been delivered to the authority late last week and it was still considering its outcomes.
Mr Birt said the organisation had commissioned the report in response to the recommendations from the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities.
FCAI chief executive Ian Chalmers said the organisation had not yet had time to consider the report. DRI was unavailable for comment.