Tips for Staying Safe During Snowmobile Season

When the weather gets cold and the snow begins to fall, some people are content to cozy up next to the fire with a good book and concentrate on staying warm.

For others, it’s time to break out the snowmobiles. Snowmobiling is an extremely popular activity this time of year. It allows you to explore natural areas which may be hard to reach by foot (or snowshoe) while providing a different kind of excitement than skiing or hiking.

Of course, snowmobiling presents some dangers as well. Here at the Warwick Agency, we want you to make it home safely after your day in the snow… and we’re not alone. The American Council of Snowmobile Associations has put together an excellent list of tips to help keep you safe.

Speed

staying safe during snowmobile season

One the largest factors in many snowmobile crashes is speed. While it’s tempting (and probably pretty fun) to see how fast you can go across winter-y terrain, it can also be extremely dangerous. Always keep your speed slow enough to ensure that you’re in control.

Alcohol

The use of alcohol and/or drugs is the leading cause of snowmobile-related fatalities. It’s best to refrain from any use at all before and during outings because of potential effects on vision, reaction time, balance, and coordination. When alcohol or drugs are combined with excessive speed, the results are often deadly.

Avalanche

In more than 90% of cases, fatal avalanches are triggered by the victims. Learn to follow avalanche safety procedures and be mindful of the risks at all times.

Riding at Night

Nighttime snowmobiling can be exhilarating, but you should exercise additional caution. Ride at slower speeds instead of trying to outrace your headlights. Keep in mind that your headlights generally illuminate your path for about 200 feet so, depending on your speed, you may have little or no time to react to an obstacle in your path.

Roadways

Always keep an eye out for vehicles, as many trails are located alongside roadways and can cross over them. Always come to a full stop at all stop signs and unmarked road crossings.

Closed Areas

Areas may be closed to snowmobiles due to hazardous conditions, wintering wildlife, non-motorized recreation, or by landowner request. It’s important to honor these closures for safety reasons and to help protect access to other riding areas.

While it’s extremely important to follow these tips for your personal safety, it’s also vital to encourage others to snowmobile safely as well. Helping to educate others will not only promote safety for all snowmobilers, but will also serve to protect the sport’s image.

Whether you’re a new rider or have been on the trails for years, ask yourself if you could be riding more safely. There are many more winters to come, and we want you to be able to enjoy as many of them as possible!

If you live around the Brookfield, CT area and have any questions about insurance, be sure to give Warwick Agency a call today at (203) 775-2564 (because who knows what can happen tomorrow!)

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