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Causes of Massachusetts ATV Accidents

All-terrain vehicle accidents may involve crashes between two ATVs, an ATV and another motor vehicle operator, or an ATV and a pedestrian. Passengers, drivers and pedestrians may be injured if an ATV or other motor vehicle operator engages in negligent or reckless driving. Equipment failure is also to blame for some ATV accidents.

Massachusetts Operator Error

When ATV or other motor vehicle operators drive carelessly or recklessly, they endanger themselves and others around them. Unfortunately, Massachusetts ATV accidents are not infrequent, and may occur under a variety of circumstances, including:

  • Massachusetts children operating adult-size ATVs. Adult-size ATVs necessitate a high level of strength and ability to operate due to their greater engine power and higher speed limits. The ATV industry provides recommendations for engine sizes that are appropriate for each age group. Parents should be sure to purchase an ATV with an engine size that can be safely operated by their child, with a maximum speed limit that can be adjusted and set to an age- appropriate level. Engines smaller than 90 cubic centimeters (cc) with a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour should be used by children ages 14 to 16, and engines larger than 90 cc with a maximum speed limit of an adult ATV should only be used by children and adults older than 16 years of age.

  • Massachusetts children operating an ATV without the supervision of an adult. An adult over the age of 18 must remain close enough to a young ATV operator to ensure that they are always in sight and hearing distance. No one under the age of 14 may legally operate an ATV in Massachusetts. New laws also require that young operators under the age of 18 must complete an approved recreation vehicle safety and responsibility course before being permitted to operate an ATV. The young operator must be able to show a certificate of completion to a Massachusetts law enforcement official if stopped while operating an ATV.

  • Massachusetts drivers lacking adequate training. For Massachusetts adults, neither a driver’s license nor a safety education certificate is required for the operation of an ATV. Operators of ATVs often do not have any formal training, which can result in serious mistakes that lead to severe accidents and injuries. Inexperienced or untrained Massachusetts ATV operators may have difficulties when crossing rough terrain or while traveling on paved roads. This inexperience can lead to rollovers, Massachusetts motor vehicle crashes and collisions with stationary objects, bicyclists or pedestrians.

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Operating any Massachusetts motor vehicle after drinking alcohol or using illicit and certain prescription drugs is illegal, and ATVs are no exception. Impaired Massachusetts drivers are liable for any injuries or damages they cause to others, and will likely face criminal charges.

  • Operating an ATV on a public road. ATVs possess solid drive axles and low tire pressures which make it difficult to cross paved roadways. This challenge, combined with the negligence and inattention of ATV operators and motor vehicle operators on the road, leads to many fatal Massachusetts ATV accidents every year. ATV operators should avoid riding on paved or public roads unless it is necessary to cross the road in order to continue on a trail. In these instances, Massachusetts ATV operators should make sure that all safety equipment is functioning properly, including working headlights and taillights that make ATV operators visible to other Massachusetts motor vehicle drivers.

  • Misunderstanding of personal and legal limits. Massachusetts ATV operators should be aware of their skill level and limitations. Inexperienced operators should not attempt to drive over steep or rough terrain. Driving too fast is also very dangerous and is a major factor in many Massachusetts ATV accidents.

  • Carrying excessive loads or passengers. ATVs are often not intended to hold passengers or heavy loads. Although manufacturers of ATVs are required to warn of the ATV’s weight limit, negligent Massachusetts operators may fail to recognize how hazardous it is to ride with an overloaded vehicle. Excess weight diminishes the ATV’s maneuverability, which makes the vehicle difficult to control and vulnerable to flipping or tipping over. Only ATVs designed to accommodate a passenger that are equipped upon purchase with a seat and bars for the passenger to hold onto should be used to carry a passenger.
If You or Someone Close to You Has Been Injured in a Massachusetts ATV Accident, Contact Our Expert Massachusetts ATV Accident Personal Injury Attorney Experts Today at 617-787-3700 or Email Us at info@gilhoylaw.com. Our Boston, MA ATV Accident Lawyer Specialists Are Available 24/7.