If you didn’t know, last week was International Snowmobile Safety Week. According to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA), this week is intended to highlight key tips to keep riders safe throughout the season. The event may have past, but it is never a bad idea to chat safety.
Before we dive into the list we have collected, the first, and most common-sense tip, is to always wear a snowmobile helmet and proper clothing. Wearing the appropriate gear, including a proper snowmobile helmet, will ensure that you are protected should something happen. Always gear up – even on the most casual rides.
6 Tips to Keep Riders Safe This Season
1. Snowmobiling and alcohol don’t mix – Don’t drink and Ride.
It should go without saying that riding while under the influence is not a good idea. Be sure to enjoy responsibly.
2. Look up the weather ahead of time
Be prepared for the type of conditions you will encounter on your ride. Looking up the weather before hand will help inform your trail and gear choice. If you are riding in mountainous terrain, be sure to also look up any avalanche warnings for the area.
3. Take a snowmobile safety course
Enrolling in a safety course tailored specifically for snowmobilers and the types of terrain near you is a great way to properly equip yourself with the necessary safety skills. These courses can cover everything from basic maintenance to proper turn signals to mountain riding.
4. Use extra caution at night
Visibility in the snow can be challenging at the best of times. After the sun sets, it just gets harder. If you do choose to ride at night, pick an area you are familiar with already and bring a flashlight just in case.
5. Never ride alone and always let someone know your itinerary.
‘Safety in Numbers’ is a cliché for a reason. Always have a buddy with you to ensure you both are safe. It is just as important to tell your plans to someone who isn’t joining you. Be sure to tell them when to expect you back, where you plan to ride and who is going with you.
6. Stay on the trail and snowmobile safe areas.
Finally, be sure to stay on snowmobile approved areas, either specific tracks or private land (with permission).