Snowmobiling is a popular activity in Minnesota during the late fall and the winter. Unfortunately, snowmobile accidents are common and can result in death or serious injuries. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has identified safety issues related to snowmobiling. Understanding these issues may help you to avoid accidents and injuries. 

Inexperience 

If you lack experience in operating a snowmobile, you are more likely to make dangerous mistakes. You can learn about safety, laws regulating snowmobiles and the basics of operation in a snowmobile training course. 

Speed

Riding your snowmobile at high speeds may be exhilarating, but it also puts you at greater risk for an accident. There is even more danger at night due to decreased visibility. You can decrease your risk by observing all posted speed limits on snowmobile trails and reducing speed when riding after dark. 

Isolation

If you were to ride alone and your snowmobile were to break down, you could become stranded in the cold. To prevent this, you can ride with a friend, each on your own snowmobile, so that one can go for help if the other’s machine becomes disabled. 

Intoxication

Over 60% of all fatal snowmobile accidents in Minnesota involve alcohol, as well as countless nonfatal injury accidents. Alcohol impairs your ability to operate a snowmobile just as it would a car or truck. Not only is it common sense to avoid consuming any alcohol yourself prior to snowmobiling, it is also wise to be sure the person you are riding with has not had anything to drink either. 

Cold

Extreme cold temperatures are common during Minnesota winters. These can put you at risk for severe conditions, such as frostbite and hypothermia. You can prevent these by dressing appropriately for the weather.