Citing dire statistics on road accidents, some fatal, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is calling on all traveling Brits to think twice before hiring quad bikes or mopeds for their mode of transport.
ABTA members reported 36 quad bike accidents and seven moped accidents in 2017. So far in 2018, at least seven people have been involved in quad bike accidents on the road. Indicatively, three of these incidents – one fatal – have been reported in Greece, in the last year alone. ABTA believes the total number of accidents to be much higher.
According to ABTA findings, 4.5 million, or one in 10, British holidaymakers have hired a moped or quad bike during travel, with the younger crowd most likely to put themselves at risk.
ABTA recommends that British travelers seek safer alternatives, such as hiring a car, taking a taxi or using public transport, and to only ride quad bikes as part of an organized excursion. It goes on to note that standard travel insurance policies may not cover accidents from quad bikes and mopeds.
Melanie Simmonds, who suffered serious injuries following a quad bike accident while on holiday in Greece in 2010 advises: “My advice to holidaymakers is be aware that quad bikes are heavy and dangerous. They are difficult to control and not very safe to use on roads. Value your life and your safety because accidents can happen to anyone and your life can change in an instant.”
Quad bikes (also known as “gourounes” in Greece) are very popular among travelers to Greece, particularly on the Greek islands, where the roads are often narrow and precipitous. Besides Greece, according to ABTA, quad bikes have become increasingly popular in destinations like Cape Verde, Turkey and mopeds in Thailand and Vietnam.
“Every year people suffer serious injuries after hiring mopeds or quad bikes while on holiday. Many have little experience of using these vehicles and are also unfamiliar with the local roads and driving standards,” said Nikki White, ABTA director of Destinations and Sustainability.
“We’re advising holidaymakers who have little experience on mopeds to think twice before hiring these vehicles, and only ride quad bikes if they are part of a properly supervised off-road excursion.”
Quad bike and moped accidents reported in 12-month August 2017- August 2018 period.
Quad bike accidents
- July 2018 – A 19-year-old man from Swindon died following a quad biking accident on the Greek island of Crete
- July 2018 – A 17-year-old girl from Lancashire suffered severe injuries following a fall from a quad bike on the Greek island of Zakynthos
- July 2018 – Two British women were fighting for their lives after a quad bike crash on the Greek island of Zakynthos
- December 2017 – Two British tourists rescued from the desert in the United Arab Emirates after their quad bikes caught on fire.
- March 2018 – A 26-year-old man from Essex died in Thailand following a moped crash with a lorry
- March 2018 – A 55-year-old father of six from Hertfordshire was placed in an induced coma following a serious moped crash in Thailand
- January 2018 – A 23-year0old man from Hertfordshire lost half his leg in a moped crash in Thailand
- December 2017 – A 23-year-old Northern Irish man had leg amputated following a serious moped crash in Thailand
- October 2017 – A 25-year-old woman from Bath survived a near fatal moped accident in Vietnam
- August 2017 – A 20-year-old from Reading died as a result of his injuries when his moped crashed in Bali.