More than 10 million North Americans travel both practically and recreationally by snowmobiles in the wintertime. Snowmobiles make the unpaved world accessible in winter in ways no other vehicle can. However, the significant rate of snowmobile accidents which result in injury and death each year make this mode of transportation uniquely dangerous. Keeping certain safety tips in mind will help you and your family stay safe while snowmobiling this winter.
Just as you would not drink and drive, text and drive, drive while enraged or drive while drowsy, you should not operate a snowmobile while impaired by any of these conditions or behaviors either. In addition, it is even more dangerous to snowmobile in unfamiliar territory than it is to drive on potentially unsafe and unfamiliar rural roads. Before you head out on your ride, make sure you know where you are headed and how to get there.
In addition, it is critical to keep your snowmobile maintained and in good condition. A breakdown on an icy stretch is a recipe for disaster. With this risk in mind, it is important to dress appropriately for riding. Not only is it critical to stay warm while riding around, it is important to be well-dressed in case of a breakdown that requires you to walk an untold number of miles for help.
Finally, please educate yourself on safe and proper operation of your snowmobile. Consider taking a safety course, read snowmobile-related safety literature and understand the rules of the “road” that uniquely apply to snowmobiles. Snowmobiling can be one of winter’s most enjoyable pastimes, but only when engaged in safely.
Source: International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, “Snowmobiling Safety“
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Stay safe while snowmobiling this season