Remember These 7 Things When You Ride a Snowmobile

When winter rolls around, there’s nothing more thrilling than getting out the snowmobile and taking it for a spin. Accidents can occur if you’re not careful, however, so keep these things in mind the next time you drive a snowmobile.

1. Don’t Speed

It’s fun to go fast, but you can easily lose control of your snowmobile and have an accident. When driving in dangerous areas, such as downhill, it’s a good idea to go under the limit. Scott Sandell daughter Anna was critically injured by going down a hill too fast. Take it easy in these dangerous areas.

2. Always Check the Weather

Always check the weather as well as trail conditions that you plan on traveling before you take out that snowmobile. If a blizzard hits, you could get lost while out in the elements. Likewise, if the temps outside are dangerously cold, you could get frostbite. A frozen trail is slippery and could easily lead to an accident. That’s why it’s vital to check the weather before taking that ride.

3. Take a Snowmobile Safety Course

Taking a snowmobile safety course is not only a good idea but it’s required in many states. A safety course teaches you how to ride responsibly and avoid accidents.

4. Never Ride Alone

Always ride in a group or with a friend. You want someone with you in case you are in an accident or your snowmobile breaks down. Cell phones don’t always work in remote places, so tell others what you’re doing and where you plan on riding. Give them an estimated time when you’ll return. That way, if you get stranded and don’t come back when you’re supposed to, they’ll know where to look.

5. Never Drive on Rivers

A snowmobile weighs between 400-600 pounds. That’s a lot of weight, making it too dangerous to cross over river ice. It’s impossible for you to know how thick that ice is, and the ice could easily break beneath you. Depending on the depth of the river, you could get hypothermia or even drown.

6. Wear Proper Clothing

Prevent frostbite by wearing the right clothing. Wear loose, comfortable layers, and then wear a snowmobile suit on top of that. Don’t wear cotton as it can get wet and freeze. Instead, wear polyester blends that wick away the moisture. Make sure the snow can’t get inside your gloves or boots. Always wear a winter hat and waterproof gloves as well as a facemask and winter boots. Finally, wear a helmet to protect you from brain injury should you be in an accident.

7. Never Go Off the Trail

Trails have been cleared and made safe for snowmobiles. Areas off those trails have not. You could hit a tree or boulder when you go astray or wind up trespassing on private property. Always stay on the trail and follow all trail markers and posted signs.

Riding a snowmobile can be a fun adventure, but you don’t want your day cut short by an accident. Follow these tips for a safe and pleasant day.