Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938


By Stephen Luntz

How does masculinity drive eating disorders, are horses racing too young, and do stimulants make truckies safer drivers?

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The Cost of Quad Bikes

Quad bike crashes cost Australia $288 million between 2001 and 2010, a study by the University of Sydney’s Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety has found, yet 70% could have easily been prevented.

“This conservative estimate draws on deaths data from the National Coroners Information System and includes projected losses in future earnings, impacts on household contributions, insurance payments, investigation and hospital costs,” said Dr Tony Lower. “These costs are only the tip of the iceberg as they don’t account for the pain and suffering incurred by families, friends and communities – nor the significant costs associated with life-threatening and permanently life-changing non-fatal injuries such as spinal and head injuries.”

The researchers estimated that 40% of deaths would have been prevented from the fitting of a crush protection device, while other actions such as the use of helmets would prevent another 30%.

The work was published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, and was accompanied by an editorial comparing bike manufacturers to the tobacco industry in their efforts to hide their own research on the dangers of their products.

Caffeine Saves Truck Drivers

The idea of truck drivers wired on stimulants to keep them awake might be frightening but it does work,...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.