Why surgeons across the world are calling for stricter rules on quads
The rising popularity of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) brings with it serious safety concerns
The number of fatalities and injuries taking place involving All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) on Irish farms in recent years has increased in tandem with the surge of ATV or "quad bike" ownership in this country.
The injuries can often be fatal, because when an ATV overturns, there is nothing to protect the driver's head or neck, as is the case with a tractor or utility vehicle.
Already this year there have been two farming-related deaths due to ATV accidents.
That is a worrying figure given that we are less than one third of the way through 2017. So is it time to ban them altogether or is there a case for less drastic action?
It is estimated that there are now around 10,000 ATVs in use on farms around the country. The farm vehicles are falling in price and so are becoming more accessible to all.
The ATV has a bad name when it comes to safety.
But there is no doubting that when used properly with the necessary personal protective equipment, they can be a real aid on the farm, whether it is for fencing, helping sheep farmers through the lambing period, cleaning out stables or bringing cows in for milking.
Regardless of the application, safety is paramount.