Snowmobile Safety Tips
Happy trails begin with snowmobile safety.
Put safety first when you mount your snowmobile to pursue your winter dreams.
Here are some general snowmobile safety guidelines from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Don’t drink and ride
Alcohol is a leading cause of snowmobile accidents and fatalities. It slows reaction times and impairs judgment. Choose to be alcohol free until your ride is over and you’re safely home.
Speed is a contributing factor in nearly all fatal snowmobiling accidents. Allow ample reaction time for any situation. Drive at moderate speeds, and drive defensively, especially after sunset.
Carry a first-aid kit
Always be prepared for the unexpected. Your first-aid kit should include a flashlight, knife, compass, map and waterproof matches.
Protect your head
Always wear a helmet with goggles or a face shield to prevent injuries from twigs and flying debris. Wear layers of water-repellent clothing and make sure you have no loose ends that might catch in the machine or tangle in equipment.
Watch for water
Avoid traveling across bodies of water when uncertain of ice thickness or water currents. Rapidly changing weather and moving water in streams and lake inlets also affect the thickness and strength of ice on lakes and ponds. Snow cover can act as a blanket and prevents thick strong ice from forming.
Stick to the trail
Stay on marked trails or, where allowed, the right shoulder of the road. Be alert for fences, tree stumps and stretched wire that may be concealed by snow.
Share the experience
Never travel alone. Most snowmobile accidents result in personal injury. The most dangerous situations occur when a person is injured and alone. If you must travel by yourself, tell someone where you’re going, the route you’ll take and when you expect to return.