Winter is here. And along with the snow days come all the snow sports. If you are an owner of one of the more than 1.2 million registered snowmobiles in the US, we’ve got some tips to keep you safe this season.
Each year, approximately 14,000 people are injured and 200 people die in snowmobiling accidents. The most common causes of snowmobiling accidents include obstacles in the terrain, speeding, intoxication, falling through ice and poor judgement. These can all be easily avoided.
Follow our simple tips to keep safe on the trials:
- Avoid Riding at Night: Darkness decreases visibility, making it more difficult to spot hazards. If you do ride at night, be sure all of your lights are working. See and be seen.
- Don’t Ride Impaired – Similar to drinking and driving, this is extremely dangerous and it’s illegal. Alcohol is involved in 70% of fatal snowmobile accidents.
- Watch the Weather – Plan your trip. Check trail conditions before you head out and if in doubt, stay home.
- Pay Attention – Keep your eyes on the trail and always be aware of your surroundings.
- Never Ride Alone – Use the buddy system. If something goes wrong with either of your machines, you want someone there who can go for help.
- Dress Properly – Gear up in googles, warm gloves, waterproof boots and a windproof outer layer with proper insulation. And always wear your helmet.
- Avoid Lakes and Rivers – It’s not easy to tell how thick the ice is and your snowmobile is a heavy piece of machinery. If you do need to travel across the ice, know that you need five inches of clear, solid ice to stay safely on top.
- Be Prepared – Bring your cellphone and let someone know where you are going. Carry a trail map.
Even the most prepared and careful snowmobilers can be involved in tragic accidents. If you or your loved one has been injured in a snowmobiling accident, contact our attorneys for an immediate consultation at 419-842-1166.