Snowmobile Safety

By: Leaftech

With winter just around the corner, many people are getting their sleds ready for another great season of running the powder. There's no better feeling for snowmobilers than gliding on a few feet of snow at high speed, perhaps performing the odd stunt or two, and generally taking pride in your machine. Thousands of people do it every year, but every year many snowmobile riders are injured and even killed while they are out enjoying their sport. It's incredibly important to follow some very basic rules so that you can enjoy snowmobiling all season long and for the rest of your life; let's take a look at them.

Alcohol and sleds don't mix. There is no room for drinking and operating any kind of motor vehicle. Most snowmobile accidents occur when there has also been drinking involved, and most people seem unwilling to believe that it could happen to them. In fact, there are probably a lot of people reading this and thinking that they are fine when they have a few beers and then hit the trails. I will be blunt: this is ignorant and a selfish way to think. Maybe you aren't worried about yourself, and with that kind of attitude that's fine. But there are other people on the road and out snowmobiling, and your decision to drink and ride could end up hurting or killing them. Save your pride for another occasion and save the alcohol for when the day is done, and the snowmobile has been put away for the day.

Always perform maintenance checks on your sled. You should do a very thorough check of your snowmobile before the season begins, and before and after every ride during the year. You don't want to be stranded or lose control because of a malfunction!

Tell someone where you are going. This rule is particularly important if you are going out in the bush. You might be going with a group, but you never know what could happen, and someone at home should know where you are and when you are planning to be back, just in case an emergency situation arises.

Unless it's really cold, avoid ice! Frozen lakes are huge temptations for snowmobile riders. It's a huge, clear expanse of snow, perfect for tearing across. Lakes can be death traps though; a snowmobile is a heavy machine and will go through thin ice very quickly. Try to overcome the call of that lake, for the sake of safety.

Of course there are many more rules that you need to follow when it comes to snowmobile safety, but these are some of the most important, as ignoring these specific warnings are what leads to 90% of snowmobile rider fatalities and injuries every year. Don't sled stupidly; it's a piece of very expensive machinery, your life, the lives of others on the line!

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