If you’ve ever gone on ski trips, you know that using a snowmobile is sometimes used to provide thrills on slopes for those who don’t want to (or don’t know how to) ski. But as with any vehicle used on the snow, those driving sometimes get tempted to be a little more daring for extra thrills. What puts a damper on all that is the statistics in how many accidents snowmobiles have caused. Canada’s statistics showed snowmobile accidents were the most common winter sports accident already a decade ago.
With far too many horror stories of skiing trips gone wrong, it’s best to start being more cautious with not only skiing but also the snowmobile. Take some time out to do some things in advance to assure your snowmobile ride doesn’t lead to an injurious or possibly fatal accident.
Have the Snowmobile Inspected
You might not stop and think about inspecting the brakes or throttle control on your snowmobile before taking up into the mountains. Regardless, you should when you consider you may be going down steep slopes most of the time. Also be sure you have enough gas so you don’t run out of gas while out in remote country. Throw in some extra tools to help with repairs if something can be fixed quickly. Part of that involves survival gear if you get stranded for long periods.
Don’t Drive at Night
There might be a temptation for a snowmobile driver to take a spin out on a mountainside in the beauty of the night. Even if the snow illuminates the scenery around you, you’re still going to have an obscured view in the dark. While lights help, it’s not really safe to drive at that time of the day, especially at high speeds. Denverhealth.org concurs, with the reminder that a single piece of barbed wire not seen in the dark could cause an accident.
Those who ride snowmobiles say speeding is the major point in driving one in the first place. Even though you should wear a helmet when driving a snowmobile, head injuries are still possible when speeding. Canada’s snowmobile accident statistics above show that head injuries were at a rate of 33% out of all injuries.
The real danger is taking your snowmobile across thin ice surfaces. In these scenarios, there’s a chance of breaking through the ice and potentially drowning. Yes, it’s one of the least considered accident scenarios, though more common than you think, according to Thinkfirst.ca.
Avoid Having More Than One Passenger on the Snowmobile
It might ruin the fun for some not giving rides on a snowmobile to family or friends. Regardless, it should be avoided considering snowmobiles have no seatbelts. For a child under six years old, their lack of weight could have them fly forward if you have to jam on your brakes or you hit an object. Adults should always be the driver, no matter how much your child wants to take a spin on the snow.
Snowmobiles may become the new danger as much as downhill skiing has been in unneeded deaths from hitting trees. This doesn’t mean caution has to ruin any sense of fun with some foresight and a little inspection of the surrounding area.