Farmers ATV Helmet Concept

ATV’s are not an unsafe machine to operate… if operated appropriately.  Firstly, some very basic common sense should be applied.  It’s pretty rare these days to find any piece of machinery that does not come with operating instructions from the manufacturer. Read them, and they will tell you all of the basics to stay safe and a lot more.  But disregarding all of that, there is one incredibly obvious requirement that still gets ignored, and it remains an unacceptably huge factor in the worst outcomes of many ATV incidents and accidents.
Always wear a helmet.

ATV Helmet

I’m sure nearly everyone could have guessed that, but why won’t too many Aussie’s on the land wear one?

During Quad Safe’s research into a best fit solution for the Aussie farmer, a friend very involved in the Motorcycle industry commented… “I know from my own experience trying to get family members mind set to change and wear a helmet was a challenge.  This mind set needs to change, unfortunately until then people will continue to be injured or fatally injured.

Quad Safe looked into all the opinions and arguments as to why anyone would not wear a helmet.  Some top reoccurring suggestions were;

  • It’s too hot in Northern Australia and a helmet will cook your head.  The airflow is essential up here. Heat stress is an issue and before heat is a medical problem, the ATV rider is just less comfortable wearing a helmet on a hot day so they do not concentrate properly.
  • We round up some pretty serious beasts up here and motorcycle helmets limit your vision too much.  It can be more dangerous to wear one when you need to see in all directions at once.
  • A riders hearing is a key lifesaver in the bush too.  We don’t always turn our heads to watch stock while riding forward, and we can hear where they are when not wearing a helmet.
  • Helmets just look wrong, they get in the way, you can’t eat, drink, shout, talk or even spit properly when wearing one… hell they are even an awkward thing to put down somewhere.

On the other side of the fence, all other safety positives of wearing a helmet are undeniable and obvious.  Could there be a new helmet solution that better addresses the factors above?  Would it be enough to tip the scales just a few more percent so that a helmet might finally become every farmer’s favoured choice?

Our framework of requirements were becoming more clear:

  • The helmet needs to be white to reflect heat and keep cool.  Ideally it would even be cooler and provide some shade (UV protection).
  • It needs good ventilation.
  • Vision needs to be maximised and the ears need to be exposed.
  • It needs to be comfortable and easy to wear all day.
  • And obviously it needs to be an excellent design for protecting the head and ideally an Australian Standard 1698 approved helmet.

It appeared that for Australian conditions, the ‘shortest’ AS1698 helmet would provide the most airflow, and ‘white’ would be the coolest colour while also offering a high visibility safety aspect.

Quad Safe believes we have a very good answer to all of the above and we have found a manufacturer who was willing to make a prototype sample based around an existing AS1698 helmet, but built to our specifications.  A short peak was chosen and mounted at a lower level to shade the face more similarly to how a farmer might wear an Akubra.

It works, it’s cool, it’s AS1698 and it’s a dam site safer than not wearing a helmet.