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Snowmobile Safety

Snowmobile Safety

With a snowmobile, you can ride over snowy landscapes and take in the beauty of a winter wonderland. While this is a fun way to get around in the winter for your riding needs, there are a few safety measures to make the most of your season. Whether you are new to snowmobiling or a more experienced rider looking for a refresher course, these tips on snowmobile safety are here to help.

  1. Check the weather beforehand: Perhaps the most important snowmobile safety tip is to check the weather forecast before you head out for a ride. While you want snowy weather in order to ride your machine, there is such a thing as too much snow. There is also the chance of inclement weather such as storms or unpleasant riding conditions of sleet. The weather forecast should always be the first thing you look at before a ride.

  2. Inspect before you ride: Another of the biggest snowmobile safety tips is to inspect your ride. The worst time to find out that your snowmobile has damages or mechanical issues is while you are out on a ride. You should check your track, steering, and any other mechanical elements before you go out for a ride to avoid becoming stranded in the middle of nowhere. If you find any issues, you should fix them immediately or postpone your ride until after the repairs. You never want to chance it since the cold weather can become a life or death concern when stranded in the middle of nowhere.

  3. Communicate: Before going out for a ride, you should always communicate with someone else as a backup plan. If you tell someone at home or even a friend that you are going out riding and when you expect to be back, they will immediately know something may be wrong when you do not return or check in with them. You should also let someone know where you will be riding in the unfortunate event that you need to be rescued or do not return at the specified time. All too often, a rider will forget to communicate these important pieces of information and finding them in an event becomes a race against the clock. Make sure you communicate!

  4. Never ride alone: Even with communicating with someone else, you still need a riding buddy. Riding with a friend ensures that you will have assistance in an emergency situation. It is all too easy to become hurt and unable to help yourself due to injuries when you ride alone. If you ride with a buddy, you will have someone there to help and keep you calm in the event of an accident.

  5. Have a first aid kit: Another of the most important snowmobile safety tips is to have a first aid kit on hand. A first aid kit for snowmobiling should include all the usual suspects, such as bandages, gauze, scissors, and aspirin, but it should also have items geared specifically to the weather concerns like a heat blanket, flashlight, and tarp. A first aid kit is crucial to a safe ride so you should make this a top priority on your next ride.

  6. Never try to tow: If you are familiar with other vehicles like ATVs or UTVs, the idea of towing something behind your vehicle is pretty normal. Snowmobiles are not meant for towing in general. You shouldn’t attempt to use your snowmobile to tow another snowmobile or anything else for that matter. You can basically damage the track of your snowmobile and create an accident. Unless you have a special model made for such purposes, do not ever attempt to tow with your snowmobile.

  7. Avoid crossing water: Crossing water and falling in due to ice cracking or the water being deeper than originally perceived is the most common cause of drowning deaths for snowmobilers. If you can avoid crossing water at all, stick to that plan. You should also make sure you have an ice pick on your person just in case since becoming trapped under the ice is an all too common and deadly occurrence.

  8. Keep a safe distance: When riding trails with other riders, you should always keep a safe stopping distance. If you are too close to the vehicle in front of you and they stop suddenly or you aren’t paying attention, you will have an accident. Snowmobile tracks can be rather sensitive to damage and render your ride undrivable so take care to avoid this scenario by following at a safe distance.

  9. Watch your speed: You should also watch your speed when you are out on a ride. It is far too common for riders to go too fast, take a turn or perform a maneuver, and lose control of their ride. If you reduce your speed, you will have better control over the vehicle and it will also help in the event of an accident since there will be less momentum in the collision.

  10. Watch out for wildlife: When you are out for a ride, wildlife is an inevitable part of the deal. You should take care to respect wildlife while you are out riding because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s a safety measure. Many animals naturally become aggressive when threatened so keep a safe distance from any wildlife to avoid issues. You should also slow down when animals are in the area to avoid hitting them in case they make a sudden move.