Top 10 Tips to Prevent Snowmobile Accidents
Source: Property Casualty 360 - CaterinaPontoriero
Snow: what some see as a burden, others see as an opportunity for fun. Nicely powdered trails aren't just for snowboarders and skiers, as snowmobile enthusiasts take to the trails as well.
But as with any vehicles, there are risks involved. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, snowmobiles can weigh in excess of 600 pounds and travel at speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour. Each year snowmobile accidents produce approximately 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries, says the NCBI.
"Many snowmobile accidents are a result of a lack of safety knowledge," says Kevin Henry, senior product manager for snowmobile insurer Foremost Insurance Group.
Foremost, a subsidiary of Farmers, recently released its top 10 tips to help snowmobilers stay safe this winter. Click "next" to read safety tips snowmobilers should follow to avoid filing a claim.
- Be aware of the conditions and slow down at night. Check out the weather forecast prior to riding. Slow down at night, especially around frozen water and in the mountains.
- Keep your adrenalin in check and be smart. Use the proper signals to identify your intentions to other drivers around you. Keep your speed in line with the conditions and with your level of experience.
- Be prepared. Always bring a first-aid kit and survival items such as a flashlight, knife, compass, flares, and a fire starting kit.
- Don't drink and drive. There is a misconception that alcohol will keep you warm. In reality, it increases your risk of hypothermia and also slows your reaction time and decreases your ability to make good decisions.
- Don't ride solo. Snowmobiling is more fun when you can enjoy the adventure with friends and family. If you decide to ride alone, be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
- Dress properly. Wear protective gear such as a safety-certified helmet, warm gloves, a windproof outer layer and boots.
- Know the laws and regulations. State laws and regulations may vary; therefore, you should check with the local Department of Natural Resources or law enforcement agencies to familiarize yourself with the rules in your area.
- Know you're protected. Be sure you have proper insurance coverage to protect your vehicle and provide liability coverage in case someone gets injured or property is damaged during the use of your machine.
- Maintain your snowmobile. When you pull your sled out of storage, perform a thorough check to make sure that everything is working properly. Before each ride, it is important to follow a checklist in your owner's manual.
- Tread lightly and respect nature. Ride only in areas where it's permitted. Wait for enough snow to cover vegetation, avoid running over trees and shrubs and don't disturb wildlife around you.