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Quad bikes and mopeds: Why take injury risks on holiday you wouldn’t at home?

Different country, different culture, different atmosphere, but the same – or perhaps even greater – risk. That is the message we’d give to holidaymakers heading abroad this summer. When holidaying abroad, we all want to have the best possible time, let down our hair a little and enjoy new experiences. However, we should be doing so with caution and consideration.

Sadly, in our work at Hudgell Solicitors, we see too many examples of people injured on holiday abroad by taking risks they simply wouldn’t take in day to day life at home.

This ‘care free’ holiday attitude has led to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) warning against renting mopeds or quad bikes abroad, with a staggering 4.5 million British holidaymakers estimated to now use them. That is one in 10 people, and for UK travellers aged between 18 and 24 the figure is estimated to be as many as one in seven.

Quad bikes, in particular, have become increasingly popular in Turkey and on the Greek islands, while hiring mopeds is now common among British holidaymakers in Thailand and Vietnam, despite many people having little experience of using them.

Mixed with driving on unfamiliar roads and different driving standards and road rules, it can be a deadly combination. There is the obvious danger related to these machines being heavy and at times difficult to control, and of course, they also offer little protection.

Will my standard travel insurance cover quad bikes?

It is highly unlikely that the use of quad bikes or mopeds will be covered by the standard insurance policies most people take out. A recent survey, commissioned by our personal injury claims team here at Hudgell Solicitors, revealed that almost a quarter of adults (23 per cent) admitted to having holidayed abroad without any insurance in place.

A third of people said they simply choose to book the cheapest cover they can find – deals which would be very unlikely to cover serious injuries suffered as a result of riding mopeds or quad bikes, or taking part in extreme activities.

The upshot of such a situation could be injured holidaymakers, rather than their insurer, facing unaffordable bills for medical treatment, or very expensive repatriation bills in being brought home if seriously injured.

ABTA has now launched a campaign advising travellers to think twice before hiring mopeds whilst overseas, and to ride quad bikes only as part of an organised excursion.

It follows the death of a 19-year-old man in Crete and three women suffering serious injuries in quad bike accidents on another Greek island, Zante, all within the past month.

Our message for holidaymakers is simple. Go and have a great time, but don’t take risks you wouldn’t take at home – as the cost of accidents abroad can be far more life-changing than at home.

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