Snowmobiling is a fun way to spend time outside during Canadian winters, with your friends and family. Like any vehicle, there are risks to riding, so before taking to the snow, know these snowmobiling tips for the safety of you, and your family.
1. Know the Law
Just like cars, snowmobile riders have rules and regulations that need to be followed. In Canada the driver must be at least 12 years old, they must have a valid driver’s license or a motorized snow vehicle operators license. The snowmobile must be registered with the Ministry of Transportation, and have insurance. You must not ride on high speed roads, on pavement where vehicles drive, or ploughed shoulders.
2.Check Your Vehicle
Before going for a ride, checking your vehicle can prevent problems later. Check your engine, oil levels, gas levels, and headlights to prevent getting caught in a dangerous situation.
3. Never Drive Impaired
Just like you should never drive a car under the influence, you should never drive any motor vehicle under the influence. Alcohol and drugs affect your alertness, reaction time, and judgment, all important to driving a snowmobile safely. If you know you may go for a ride, keep away from alcohol and drugs. Never drive under the influence.
4.Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Being alert and concentrated is extremely important for driving any vehicle, including a snowmobile where you may be driving with low lighting, complicated trails, and obstacles. Know the route you are taking and be conscientious of your surroundings.
5. Take Lessons
By taking a snowmobile riding lesson, you are covering safety procedures, legal requirements, and first aid, so you can develop safe habits and skills to stay safe while driving a snowmobile.
6. Dress for Weather Conditions
Look up the weather if you are planning on going for a long ride to avoid getting stuck in a storm. Regardless, always wear warm clothes and bring backup. You will be exposed to the cold weather, so you need to protect your body.
7. Tell People Where You Are Going
Before going for a ride, tell someone where you are going, and how long you expect to be out for your own safety. That way, if you don’t return on schedule, someone will know what you were doing, and where you went and can start looking for you.
8. Carry Emergency Kits
There is no harm in having emergency kits at your disposal. You never know when you might be in trouble. Have a first aid kit/emergency kit, and a repair kit for the vehicle. Better to be safe than sorry.
9. Stay On a Trail
Staying on a trail is safer for a few reasons. By staying on a trail you can avoid unexpected obstacles such as trees, branches, and fences. It will also keep you off of roads where there is the potential to get in an accident with a car. Staying on a trail can also prevent you from driving on unsafe terrain such as ice, and frozen lakes. Just like you would keep a car on a road, keep a snowmobile on a trail.
10. Wear Protective Gear
Protective gear is a must when operating a snowmobile. You must wear a helmet, face shield, or goggles, warm waterproof clothes that cover your entire body, protective windproof and waterproof gloves, and boots with warm socks. Wearing protective gear will prevent injury if in an accident, and will keep your body protected from the elements.
Cantini Law has over 35 years of experience advocating for clients who have suffered injuries following a motor vehicle accident. With 5 locations serving NS, NB, and PEI, contact Cantini for a free consultation at 1-800-606-2529.