765-395-7761
877-395-6200

Recreational Vehicle Insurance Tips

Snowmobile Safety – Part 1


Bounding over trails through woods, over fields and across frozen ponds or lakes with cold blasts of air whipping around are all part of the fun that many thousands of people enjoy during winter in their snowmobiles.

Snowmobiles are motor vehicles, operated primarily off public roads while such areas are covered by snow and/or ice. Several methods of propulsion are permitted, such as wheels, treads or belts, but not vehicles that use fan (propeller) or jet propulsion. Trailers that are designed for being towed by snowmobiles and those that are meant to transport snowmobiles are also treated as snowmobiles.

Snowmobiling is an activity that is popular in many U.S. states. According to information provided by the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, ownership of registered snowmobiles in the United States is widespread, totaling well over a million (as of 2018).

The fun of using snowmobiles should not mask the fact that it still involves the use of fast, heavy vehicles that, in collisions, can cause severe injuries and damage to property. Some models of snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles operate at speeds that rival automobiles. Unlike autos, they are open vehicles, lacking the structural protection of even the smallest auto. Therefore, the danger to snowmobile users is far higher.

The risk of being injured while operating snowmobiles is compounded by some important factors. Snowmobiles are operated over rough terrain with obstacles that are often hidden by snow. They are operated in areas where the drivers are not familiar with paths or trails. Novices and older operators with poorer reflexes are attracted to recreational snowmobiling and these vehicles are often used very late at night, in remote areas. Another consideration regarding the use of snowmobiles is that operators also combine driving with drinking and alcohol intensifies the other dangers.

Please see part 2 of this discussion for details on making snowmobile use, safer.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2019

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

Snowmobile Safety – Part 2


As mentioned in part 1 of this discussion, snowmobiling, while very popular, is also a highly dangerous activity. Such accidents involve operators who are largely unprotected while using vehicles that may approach 90 mph and which way several hundred pounds. Injuries often result in concussions, fractured limbs, and trauma to organ systems and/or the head.

Naturally, there are practices that can help lower the chances of being in a serious accident. Snowmobile operators should:

  • Avoid solo snowmobiling - having another person around in case of an accident is probably the greatest safety practice.
  • Seek out and get adequate training in snowmobile operations
  • Take safety courses
  • Properly maintain the snowmobile to minimize malfunctions
  • Wear properly designed helmets
  • Dress in appropriate safety gear and clothing, including water-repellent apparel
  • Operate snowmobile at speeds that are appropriate for conditions and terrain
  • Do not drink alcohol while operating a snowmobile
  • Use marked trails and don’t stray off of them
  • Carry a first aid kit, as well as other emergency equipment, especially tools, flashlights, compass, matches, etc.
  • Avoid crossing bodies of water as breaking through ice is a major peril (drowning is a chief source of snowmobile accident fatalities).

COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2019

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.