Heading out on the trail? It’s Snowmobile Safety Awareness week. Ride safely this week, January 16-22, so you can continue to ride the rest of the season.
“Safe snowmobiling goes beyond just following local laws and regulations,” says Kevin Henry, senior product manager for Foremost. “It means riding within your own capabilities, at safe and appropriate speeds for the terrain, and never drinking alcoholic beverages before or during a trip.”
Before heading out on the trail, Foremost recommends all snowmobilers:
- Know the law. Check with the local DNR or law enforcement agencies to understand the rules of the area where the ride will take place.
- Gear up. For optimum protection, always wear a helmet, warm gloves, a windproof outer layer and boots.
- Check it out. Be sure the snowmobile is running properly before riding. Review the owner’s manual and follow the recommended service schedule.
- Take a friend. Never snowmobile alone. It’s more fun and safer to ride with someone.
- Be prepared. Take along a spare belt, spark plugs and tools to do basic repairs. A safe snowmobiler should also carry emergency supplies, such as a basic first aid and overnight survival provisions such as food, matches, flashlight and extra batteries and shelter-building materials.
- Maintain control and stay sharp. Be aware of the terrain, visibility and weather conditions before the ride. Ride only when senses are sharp and not impaired by any drugs or alcohol.
- Know the sled’s protection. Snowmobile safety week is a perfect time to review snowmobile insurance to make sure there’s enough coverage to protect the vehicle and cover liability in case someone gets injured or property is damaged.
“In addition, all snowmobilers should create a travel plan and adhere to it,” adds Henry. “A good travel plan not only informs others of the intended route, destination and travel times, but respects nature and sticks only to designated routes and trails.”