9 Snowmobile Riding Safety Tips
by ROGER HEUMANN on Aug 21, 2021
Riding a snowmobile is downright fun, but there are always pockets of danger that could arise. Use these tips to help you get through the ride with all the fun possible and none of the dangers. You want your ride to be exhilarating, but you also want to make it through the experience to land you on the other side of the ride in one piece.more
Stay alert to the other drivers around you and drive in a defensive manner. You can never assume or predict what another rider will do. Try to anticipate what could happen and drive defensively. The same can be said about other areas of potential danger. If it is snowing, understand that your helmet can impair your vision and hearing. Drive in an aware manner and take everything in.
When you are riding around in snowy conditions, you never know what might come up. Look ahead of your vehicle far enough that you can stop yourself if you see something dangerous. You will want to watch for thin ice, open water, oncoming snowmobiles, sharp corners, snow banks, wildlife and any number of other things. If you are watching too close around you, you may miss these items until it is too late to slow down and stop.
Never Drink and Ride
Riding a snowmobile requires caution, full attention, and alertness. If you have an alcoholic beverage before your ride, your reaction time can slow. You could also see a difference in your response to unexpected situations and in your perception. It is never okay to drink and ride your snowmobile…for your own safety and for those around you.
Use Safety Items
If you like riding in the dark, make sure your headlights are bright enough and point in the right direction. Always wear outer clothing with reflective trim and never ride along at night. During the day, dress in full snowmobile gear even if you are riding a short distance. Use good snowmobile gloves to keep your hands warm, firm up your grip, and give you other advantages. Safety items were created to keep you safe. Use them!
Pack a Repair Kit
When you are going for longer rides, it is a good idea to pack a repair kit on your snowmobile. You should have things like duct tape, spare spark plugs, a tool kit from your manufacturer, a pry bar, spare belts, extra nuts and bolts of the proper size and other such things. Cell phone are great, but when you are riding in a remote area, they don’t always work.
First Aid Kit
You don’t want an accident to happen, but you never know. Having a small emergency first aid kit on hand is very welcoming when something goes awry. Hopefully you’ll never have to use it, but at least you know it’s there.
Keep an Eye on Conditions
Most popular trails post road conditions throughout the day. Some volunteers keep an eye on the trails and snowmobilers themselves can call in reports. Before you go out for a ride, check the condition of your trail. Is it ice packed or does it have a lot of drifts? These are important things to know before you go out.
Stay on Marked Trails
You are safest when you are on trails that have specifically been created for snowmobile riding. Watch for tree stumps and other items that are concealed by the snow, even on marked trails. But understand you are better off on these trails than an unmarked area.
Use Common Sense
Many accidents occur because riders simply weren’t thinking straight. Take time to think your decisions through and listen to your common sense. You will not only remain safe throughout your rides, but you will also enjoy them more.
Riding a snowmobile can be very dangerous, but these tips can help you stay safe so you can go on ride after ride without having an accident.