Snowmobiles are definitely an extremely popular winter sport. Snowmobiling can be a fun pastime, especially when it means you don’t have to spend the entire winter cooped up inside. However, as exciting as it is, it can also be very dangerous when the proper precautions are not taken.
According to statistics, each year snowmobile accidents produce more than 14,000 injuries. Some cases of snowmobiling accidents are very well-known, like the tragic accident that Scott Sandell daughter had in New Hampshire in 2021. Accidents can be caused for many reasons such as driver inexperience, excessive driving speed, and driving under the influence.
The injuries provoked by snowmobile accidents can be varied, from fractures in the extremities, to head injuries and other traumas. To help you stay safe and avoid accidents there are some tips you can follow.
Follow the Rules
One of the most common reasons for snowmobile accidents is driver inexperience. Knowing the rules, laws, and regulations when it comes to snowmobiling is essential. For example, one of the most important ones is that many states, like Utah, for example, require a snowmobile certification to prove that you have taken a snowmobile safety course before driving one. This course is not to be taken lightly, especially for inexperienced drivers. The techniques that the driver learns when taking the course will help them safely operate the snowmobile and avoid future accidents.
Plan and Track Your Route
Planning and tracking your route is extremely important. By doing so, you will be familiarized with the trail before driving it. That way, you can check the trail conditions and weather. Another advantage of tracing your route, you can inform other people so that they know where to find you if something happens or you experience delays.
Being prepared can include inspecting your snowmobile before riding. You should check that it doesn’t have any malfunctions, that the motor oil and gas are properly filled, etc. You should check the battery, headlights, and handlebars, as well. To be prepared you also should carry a first-aid kit and emergency kit with survival items such as a flashlight, fire starting kit, and a knife. To avoid major issues, it’s important to perform regular maintenance on the machine. You could also carry a small repair kit that includes tools, spark plugs, and duct tape, in case of emergency.
Protect Your Head
As with many other sports, a helmet is essential. Snowmobiling accidents can throw you into trees, onto rocks, or you could hit another snowmobile or person. As uncomfortable as it might seem, a helmet will help you to protect your head.
One of the most important safety tips is to be cautious. It’s tempting to push the limit with speed, and it can feel exhilarating to take sharp turns or race. However, it’s important to always use caution. Get enough sleep before driving a snowmobile. Don’t drink and drive. Avoid crossing frozen rivers or lakes, and avoid taking medicines that can make you drowsy before driving.
While this list may seem long, in all reality, it’s not, especially when you think about how valuable your life is. Take care when riding a snowmobile, take the proper precautions, and have fun!