It’s time to hit the trail on our snowmobiles! This outdoor sport continues to grow in popularity, creating great exercise and fun for the nearly two million people in North America who ride them.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that snowmobiles weigh in excess of 600 pounds and can reach speeds of 90 miles per hour. Each year, snowmobile accidents cause approximately 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries. Excess speed, alcohol, driver inexperience, and poor judgment are most often to blame, according to a report filed with the National Library of Medicine
Therefore, safety is critical when you hit the trails, as is knowing your surroundings, the terrain, and your own ability. Beginning the third Saturday in January, International Snowmobile Safety Week promotes events to keep snowmobilers secure while having fun on the trails all season long.
We recommend that you start by taking a snowmobile safety course. Many states require a snowmobile certificate and each state has its own rules and regulations. A snowmobile safety course will instruct you on how to ride safely and responsibly and educate you about the rules of the trail.
Here are some tips to ensure that you and your fellow snowmobilers enjoy your trip and that every journey includes a safe arrival at home:
- Maintain your snowmobile. Complete safety checks before and after rides.
- Wear appropriate clothing for the conditions and helmet.
- Carry emergency supplies.
- Like any other motorsport, don’t consume alcohol or drugs before or while snowmobiling.
- Snowmobile in familiar areas and where permitted
- Don’t exceed the speeds of the trail
- Stay aware of the weather
- Learn the terrain and where frozen bodies of water are located.
- Never ride alone. Communicate where you’re riding and when you will return.
- If riding at night, reduce your speed.
Want to learn more about snowmobiling? Check out www.snowmobile.org or go here to take a safety test: https://www.saferiderssafetyawareness.org/safe-riders-snowmobiling-safety-test.aspx
Photo by C3nsored via Canva Pro