Every time anyone gets behind the wheel of a car, jumps into a game, or dives into the water, they are taking a risk and have a responsibility to themselves and other participants -snowmobiling is no different.
Just like operating any other motor vehicle, snowmobile drivers should know how to ride responsibly because their safety and the safety of anyone who comes in their path, lays in the driver’s hands. And where there is potential risk, there is insurance to protect you from those damages.
But no matter how well snowmobile insurance covers your damages after the fact, the best way to protect yourself is by following safe snowmobile driving standards. We put together some typical scenarios that occur when we deal with snowmobile insurance claims. Safety is always the best policy, no matter how experienced you think are.
Snowmobiling Scenario #1: Snowmobiling too fast
Jesse has been riding snowmobiles with his family all his life and decides to hit the trails alone one day in a public park. He’s cruising around, not paying too much attention to his surroundings because it’s getting late and no one is out. Then, Jesse drives around a corner and nearly collides with a park ranger who is out on the job maintaining the trails.
Safety tip: Alway operate at a reasonable speed to prevent potential injury to yourself and those who may be ahead of you, around corners, and over hills. Try to stay off the freshly groomed portion of the trail if it is wide enough. If you are with a group merge into a single file line.
Snowmobiling Scenario #2: When cell phones don’t work
Marie is bored one brisk winter afternoon and decides to hit the trail on her family snowmobile alone. She’s been riding all her life and is well versed in how to safely operate a snowmobile. Figuring she will only be out for a little while, she doesn’t leave a note or let anyone know she is going out.
While cruising down the trail by her home at a reasonable speed, a deer jumps out in front of her causing her to swerve and flip the snowmobile. While she isn’t terribly injured, it looks like her ankle is broken. Unable to walk, Marie is stranded on the trail and no one knows she is there.
Safety tip: Never ride alone! Always use the buddy system, or if you do go out alone, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back. This way, if there is an accident they will know where to find you.
Snowmobiling Scenario #3: When your headlights don’t work
Brianna and a few friends do a custom winter snowmobile night ride every year – it’s their chance to get together, catch up and have a little adventure. This year, Jess noticed her headlights are out. Figuring she will be okay since she will be with a group, she decides to head out anyways. Without the light, she doesn’t see a large tree route that is sticking up out of the ground and runs over it, ruining the tread on her snowmobile.
Safety tip: Always be certain that your headlight, tail lights and brake lights are working before you leave. Check them frequently and remove ice or snow build up while riding.
Snowmobiling Safety first!
Are you planning to hit the trails on your snowmobile this winter? Make sure your snowmobile is in safe running order and stock up on warm clothes and emergency items at a sporting goods store.