Millions of Brits are risking their lives hiring mopeds and quad bikes while on holiday overseas, Abta has warned.
The association says its members reported some 36 quad bike accidents last year, and a further seven to date this year.
However, looking beyond its members, Abta believes the true number is likely to be considerably higher.
According to a recent YouGov poll, cited by Abta, one in 10 adult British holidaymakers (9%) have hired a moped or quad bike overseas.
It is younger adults though who are more likely to put themselves at risk, with one in seven British 18 to 24-year-olds (15%) having hired a moped or quad bike while on holiday.
Between August 2017 and August 2018, Abta has highlighted four serious quad bike accidents, one fatal, and six moped incidents, two of which were fatal.
Outcomes ranged from amputation to multiple injuries, with many riders suffering permanent, life-changing effects.
Two tourists travelling in the UAE were left stranded in the desert and had to be rescued after their quad bikes caught fire in the heat.
Abta further warns with quad bikes becoming increasingly popular and prevalent in places like Greece, Cape Verde and Turkey, and mopeds the same in south east Asia, more and more holidaymakers were taking to less safe forms of transport in countries where the rules of the road and standards of driving differ wildly from the UK.
Among those affected in recent years was 32-year-old Melanie Simmonds, who came off her quad bike in Greece in 2010. After a series of operations, it took Simmonds 14 months to recover from her injuries.
“The reason we hired the quad bike was to save money on taxis,” she said. “One snap decision completely transformed my life. I could have lost the use of my legs or worse, my life.
“My advice to holidaymakers is be aware quad bikes are heavy and dangerous. They are difficult to control and not very safe to use on roads.
“One big thing I’ve also learned is you must always know what your insurance covers you for. As it turned out, I wasn’t covered for was quad bikes because I never expected to be using one.
“Value your life and your safety because accidents can happen to anyone and your life can change in an instant.”
Nikki White, Abta’s director of destinations and sustainability, said: “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.
“It’s so easy when you’re relaxing on holiday to do things you wouldn’t dream of doing back home; but you are putting yourself at risk of serious injury if you hire these vehicles, and on top of that, many travel insurance policies won’t cover such activities.
“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.”
Abta is advising anyone travelling abroad there are always safer alternatives to hiring mopeds and quad bikes, including hiring a car, taking a taxi or using public transport, and to only ride quad bikes as part of an organised excursion.
The association adds it also wished to remind holidaymakers of the limitations and exclusions of standard travel insurance policies, many of which will not cover accidents from quad bikes and mopeds, leaving seriously injured holidaymakers facing unaffordable medical bills.