The Safe Way to Enjoy Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling is a very popular extreme sport in the United States. In North America, there are 2 million snowmobilers. Statistics indicate that there are 14,000 injuries and 200 deaths yearly resulting from snowmobile accidents. Here are some tips that may help reduce those numbers. Snowmobile Safety Courses. Snowmobile safety classes teach the safe and responsible operation of snowmobiles. Safety courses are especially recommended for novice riders. The state that you live in may require the completion of a snowmobile safety course to register a snowmobile. 

Give Your Sled the Once Over. To avoid becoming stranded make sure that your snowmobile is operating properly before you set out on your ride. Among the things, you will want to check is your battery and: 

  • Brakes
  • Drive belt
  • Fuel and oil levels
  • Handlebars
  • Head and taillights
  • Skis

You should also make sure the throttle is working properly. If the snowmobile isn’t working properly, it could cause an accident. Make sure everything is in place and functioning before taking your snowmobile out to the mountains.

Use the Buddy System. Family or friends should be told that you are going for a ride and they should know your itinerary. Ride with at least one other person or as part of a group. Your excursion may take you beyond the range of cell service. The buddy system will ensure that you don’t end up stranded in a remote location. 

Dress Properly. Underneath your snowmobile suit dress in layers. Clothes made from polyester blends are preferable to cotton clothing. Cotton clothing will retain moisture and freeze. Wear snowmobile boots and a winter hat. 

Protect Your Face and Head. Wear a face mask and a DOT approved helmet. Protect your eyes with goggles. 509 goggles are among the goggles recommended by Pay Attention. When operating any type of motorized vehicle you will want to remain vigilant. You might come across other people pursuing other types of winter recreation. Along the trail, there could be any number of hazards including but not limited to downed trees, barbed wire fences, and rocks. 

Obey Trail Speeds. For the reasons listed above public trails may have posted speed limits. The faster you are traveling the less time you have to react to the unexpected. Prepare Breakdowns. For quick reference, the owner’s manual should be kept with the snowmobile at all times. In addition to tools, your repair supplies should include duct tape (of course), a pry bar, spare belt, spark plugs, and tow rope. 

Prepare for Injuries and Temporary Stranding. To render first aid carry adhesive tape, bandages, band-aids, gauze, and hand sanitizer. In the event, you become stranded temporarily you should have a blanket, compass, flashlight, food, a knife, and waterproof matches. Don’t Cross Water. A snowmobile weighs over six hundred pounds. You cannot accurately guesstimate the thickness of ice.

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