Once the ground is covered in snow, we begin to hear the sound of snowmobilers enjoying the freshly fallen powder. While snowmobiling can be a great deal of fun, a snowmobile can be incredibly dangerous if not taken seriously.
Just last week, a fatal snowmobile accident in Western New York became the fourth deadly snowmobile accident in Upstate New York and this past weekend another fatal snowmobile accident occurred right here in the CNY area all within the first couple of weeks of 2017. As of April 1st, 2016, there were 80 total reported snowmobile crashes in New York for the 2015-2016 snowmobile season. Four of the accidents were fatal. These numbers adjusted by the amount of snowmobile registrations represents 0.87 accidents per 1000 registrations in the 2015-2016 season. Fortunately, this is a significant decrease from last year; however, still, many of these snowmobile accidents could have been prevented.
What causes snowmobiling accidents?
Snowmobile accidents have many causes. However, they can be narrowed down to three major triggers: speed, alcohol, and lack of visibility.
Many snowmobilers feel invincible on a sled. They see a freshly groomed trail in front of them and no one in sight and think they can hit the throttle with no consequences. Consumption of alcohol can often lead a snowmobile rider to increase their speed. With many snowmobilers stopping for drinks in between trails, it can be easy to have one too many. As stated in our previous drinking and driving blogs, alcohol can dangerously alter your vision and mental capacity while driving. Add low visibility through woods or at night, and it makes for a potentially fatal combination while snowmobiling.
Before you hop on that sled, take a look at these tips for making your snowmobile ride both safe and enjoyable.
Top 5 Tips For Safe Snowmobiling
1. Wear a helmet.
Snowmobile helmets are a necessity while riding. About two-thirds of fatal snowmobile accidents with children are caused by an injury to the head or neck. Decorate it with fun stickers, get one in your favorite color, but just make sure to wear your snowmobile helmet.
2. Plan your route.
Before you take on the trails, be sure to map out where you intend on snowmobiling. This will help you from getting lost or having to ride through unfamiliar territory. It also helps to inform someone where you are going, and let them know your estimated time of arrival, just in case.
3. Obey the speed limits.
Yes, there are speed limits on snowmobile trails and they are not just there for suggestions. Be cautious and slow down.
4. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
This is an obvious one. The same way you should not drink and operate a car, you should also not operate a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum to ensure alertness on the trails.
5. Carry a safety kit.
This kit should include first aid supplies, a flashlight, matches, tool kit, and a compass. Though snowmobiles do not have much storage, make it your number one priority to be prepared.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a snowmobile accident that is due to someone’s negligence, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side, contact Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman for your free snowmobile accident lawsuit consultation. You may be entitled to substantial compensation. Contact one of the attorneys at BMBP today.
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