Honesty post – I’ve never been on a snowmobile before. I’ve lived in NH for over half of my life and have only seen them from afar or walked in their tracks. Perhaps someday I’ll have a chance to ride one.
I was intrigued when I was looking up safety topics to write about and saw there was a Snowmobile Safety and Awareness Week. Overall NH has a pretty good safety record, with only 3 or 4 snowmobile related deaths each season. Last year that number rose to 6 when 3 people drowned after snowmobiling on thin ice. Education and awareness on snowmobile safety will hopefully keep everyone safer this season. The Snowmobile Manufacturers Association has a pretty good website full of snowmobile safety information and is promoting awareness & education to keep everyone safe.
Their safety list is so good, I’m just going to post it here:
- Safe Snowmobiling Means…
- Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during snowmobiling.
- Become familiar with the snowmobile you ride.
- Operate at safe and reasonable speeds.
- Stay on trails and areas where snowmobiling is permitted.
- Avoid travel on unfamiliar frozen bodies of water.
- Using extra caution at night.
- Keep your snowmobile properly maintained.
- Become familiar with the terrain you will travel on.
- Listen to the weather forecast before you leave.
- Always wear a helmet and proper clothing.
- Never riding alone, and letting someone know where you are going and when
you plan to return.
- Carrying emergency supplies and learning survival skills.
Copied from the www.snowmobile.org Safety Week Manual.
Their safety list reminded me of some of the hiking safety rules I follow as well. Whenever we’re participating in any outdoor winter sport, it’s important to dress properly for the weather conditions and activity, check the weather before heading out, have safety gear just in case, and a plan for what to do if conditions change. If anyone becomes cold, head back. Make sure you have permission to be there and bring a friend or a few. These activities are more fun with friends and even more enjoyable when everyone gets back safely.
NH Online Snowmobile Safety Course