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How to stay safe when snowmobiling

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Snowmobiling offers an exhilarating way to embrace winter’s beauty. However, ensuring safety is paramount for an enjoyable experience.

Adhering to guidelines for a safe ride can significantly reduce the risks of snowmobiling.

Wear a helmet

Wearing a helmet is a non-negotiable aspect of snowmobiling safety. A high-quality helmet protects against head injuries and enhances visibility with a clear visor or goggles. Ensure the helmet fits snugly and meets safety standards for maximum protection.

Know your vehicle

Before hitting the trails, familiarize yourself with the snowmobile’s controls. Understanding how to operate the machine, including braking, acceleration and steering, is crucial for safe and confident riding.

Stay on designated trails

Riding on established trails is a fundamental safety practice. Stick to marked routes and avoid straying into unknown or off-limits areas. Trail markers exist to guide riders safely through varied terrains and prevent accidental encounters with hazards.

Check the forecast

Unpredictable weather can impact visibility, trail conditions and overall safety. Plan your ride according to weather forecasts and prepare for changing conditions.

Bring a friend

Snowmobiling is more enjoyable and safer when done in pairs or groups. Riding with a buddy provides mutual assistance in case of emergencies. Share your route plans with someone responsible before setting out.

Prepare for emergencies

Carry essential gear for emergency preparedness. This includes a first aid kit, a multi-tool, a map and a compass. A communication device, such as a two-way radio or satellite phone, can be invaluable in an unexpected situation.

Moderate your pace

Excessive speed increases the risk of accidents and makes it challenging to react to unexpected obstacles. Proceed with caution, especially in unfamiliar or congested areas.

Avoid hazards

Stay vigilant and be alert to your surroundings while snowmobiling. Watch for potential hazards such as hidden obstacles, changes in terrain and other trail users. Maintaining situational awareness minimizes the risk of accidents.

Stay sober

Consuming alcohol and operating a snowmobile is a dangerous combination. Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time, significantly increasing the likelihood of accidents. Stay sober while riding to ensure a clear mind and a safe journey through the winter wonderland.

Minnesota had 10 snowmobile fatalities in winter 2022, nearly double the number from the previous season. Safety precautions can help prevent severe and potentially life-threatening injuries.