Tips for Avoiding Snowmobile Accidents

2689870_lSnowmobile accidents can cause horrific injuries. Even when initial injuries are minor, the situation can turn deadly when injured riders are stranded out in the elements, and difficult to find or reach due to weather and other conditions. Alcohol and excessive speed are common contributors to snowmobile accidents. Here are some tips for staying safe when you play in the snow.

Before You Ride

  • Know the snowmobile laws in your state.
  • Make sure your snowmobile is in good working condition. Check the brakes, throttle, steering and lights. If you have an emergency switch, check that too.
  • Make sure that the hood and guards are firmly attached.
  • Check the weather for upcoming hazardous conditions, including storms, low temperatures, and high winds.
  • Know where you will go and the type of terrain you will be encountering.
  • Pack the right supplies. At minimum carry a first aid kit, waterproof matches, flashlight, rope, knife, tool kit, spark plugs, drive belt, and an extra ignition key.
  • Dress appropriately. This includes gloves, helmet, eye protection, and insulated boots.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.

When You Ride

  • Don’t ride alone. Go with a group of friends.
  • Avoid avalanche zones.
  • Stay on land, do not try to cross frozen ponds, lakes, or streams.
  • Keep an eye out for obstacles including fences and low wires. Remember that deep snow can put you on level with obstacles that are normally high above you.
  • Stay off of roadways.
  • Keep your lights on at all times.
  • At intersections, come to a complete stop and look for traffic.
  • Avoid excessive speed.
  • Stay sober.