The Handbook of Massachusetts Off-Highway Vehicle Laws
The Official Off-roading Handbook of the Massachusetts Environmental Police - Web Version
Table of Contents
Children Are at Risk
Nationwide, statistics show that children under the age of 16 account for 40% of OHV accidents and fatalities. Several factors contribute to this risk.
Lack of Visual Adult Supervision
Physical Factors: A major cause of accidents among juvenile riders is riding a machine that's too large for them to handle physically.
- Leg Length: When a child stands on the footrests, the top inseam of the pants should be a minimum of three inches above the seat. While seated, the thigh should be roughly parallel to the ground.
- Foot Length: A child should be able to reach the brake by rotating the foot on the footrest.
- Arm Length: When seated on the machine, a child's arms should be long enough to:
- Turn the handlebars and maintain a firm grip.
- Operate the throttle comfortably.
- Operate the brake lever.
- Strength: A child must have the strength to operate the controls properly.
Perceptual, Motor, and Maturity Factors: Children up to age 16 are at risk when operating OHVs because they:
- Perceive distances to be greater than what they actually are.
- Have a shorter attention span than adults.
- React more slowly than adults.
- Take more risks—particularly males—and perceive less danger in those risks than adults.
- Try to imitate more complex maneuvers of parents or older friends.