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Hit The Trails Safely: Tips For Snowmobilers

snowmobile travelling through snow, across a frozen lake

With a fresh blanket of snow, there’s nothing more exciting than hitting the trails with friends for a winter ride. While the rules may seem easy to follow, even the most experienced snowmobilers should understand that it never hurts to read up on best practices for staying safe. For experts and novices alike, let’s discuss some snowmobiling safety tips, here: 

 

Always Check the Weather 

Depending on where you’re riding, it’s important to check safety and weather information related to the trail before you start adventuring. Snowmobiles cannot operate when a certain amount of snow is on the ground, and sometimes, for unexpected weather and safety reasons, trails must close. Never ride on a trail that is closed, and always listen to the most up-to-date information about weather closures. 

 

Ensure You’re Dressed Properly 

When snowmobiling, you should be sure that you’re bundled up and ready to encounter cold weather. Many snowmobilers like to wear insulated suits and other safety attire. It’s vital that you stay warm while you’re out riding, so don’t underestimate the importance of wearing insulated clothing. 

 

Do Not Drink & Drive a Snowmobile 

Just like it’s dangerous to consume alcohol while driving any other motor vehicle, it’s dangerous to drink alcohol and drive a snowmobile, too. When you operate a snowmobile under the influence, you are putting yourself and other riders at risk. Therefore, do not drink before driving a snowmobile—as you know, alcohol makes you less equipped to be able to make safe and quick decisions while driving. 

 

Always Take a Buddy 

While it may be tempting to go it alone – even after plans get cancelled- do not hit the trails by yourself. You never know when there might be an issue with your snowmobile, and if you’re unable to leave the trail, you might encounter a dangerous situation. If your snowmobile breaks down and you’re with others, you’ll be able to catch a ride with them back to safety in case of an emergency. Always have an adventure buddy! 

 

Have the Necessary Safety Equipment 

Snowmobilers need to have safety equipment on hand when they’re riding. There are a few necessities that you should always have with you. These include things like helmets, goggles, first aid kits, knee pads and elbow pads, and more. When you are wearing the proper safety equipment and you have supplies on hand in case there is an accident, you are protecting yourself from severe issues. 

 

Go Slow When Necessary 

During the day, of course, you still need to drive safely. At night, however, you should take extra precautions and reduce your speed. Do not operate a snowmobile over 30 MPH at night. When you take your vehicle above this speed, you risk injury, accident and other damage due to lesser visibility.  

 

Eyes on the Road 

You never know when something is going to pop up on the trail ahead of you. Whether an animal, a person, or an inanimate object is blocking the road, you must be alert so you can avoid a collision. If there is something in the road that you need to avoid, you want to be able to have quick and smart reaction time. Keep your eyes on the road and pay attention when riding a snowmobile. 

 

Do Not Ride on the Ice 

If you see ice, turn around. Driving over ice is not safe, even if you think that the ice is incredibly thick. You do not want your snowmobile to fall into the water, so never try to ride over a frozen pond or lake. To keep safe, keep off any frozen water. 

 

Stay on the Trail 

Sometimes riders want to go off the trail, but off-roading is not a safe choice. When you decide to leave the trail, you’re putting yourself at risk of getting lost or getting stuck in high piles of snow. Trails are maintained, and when you’re riding off the trail, you’re riding in an area that is not safe or maintained, and the conditions cannot be guaranteed.  

 

Remember: The Rules Always Apply To You 

No matter how many years you’ve been riding, or how many times you’ve ridden the trail you’re snowmobiling on, you need to follow all rules and safety measures. Although you may be familiar with the trail, that doesn’t mean that others are, and if you act out of line, you might cause an accident with an inexperienced snowmobiler. 

 

In addition, make sure all the riders with you know the rules as well. If the rules apply to you, that means the rules apply to all the other people in your party. If you find that the people riding with you do not follow the proper safety rules and regulations, speak up—you could be helping to save someone’s life. Never keep safety-related issues to yourself. 

 

Have the Proper Insurance for Snowmobiling 

You need Ontario Snowmobile Insurance. Too many people forget to properly insure themselves before they hit the trails. At Duliban Insurance Brokers, we specialize in helping people find the insurance policy that’s right for their lifestyle. If you need insurance for your snowmobile, contact us today and let’s get you covered!  

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