Safety Tips for Your Snowmobile Ride

It’s officially snowmobile season! There’s no better way to enjoy the beautiful winter weather than blasting through the snow on a snowmobile. Whether you’re exploring an exotic destination or cruising near your home, there are many ways to plan a fun outing this winter.

However, while snowmobiles are great fun, they also do come with their share of risks. While riding a snowmobile, it’s important to be a defensive driver and always be alert of potential danger. Do all that you can to ensure your safety and that of other riders. Expect the unexpected by speaking with your New Mexico insurance agency to secure a Toy Insurance policy that covers snowmobiles and other similar vehicles, and brush up on your snowmobile safety before you hit the snow. 

Watch Out for…

  • Thin ice and open water
  • Grooming equipment
  • Oncoming snowmobiles
  • Unforeseen obstacles beneath the snow
  • Unexpected corners, intersections, and stops
  • Road and railway crossings
  • Logging/Forestry operations
  • Snowbanks and drifting snow
  • Trees and branches on the trail
  • Bridges and approaches
  • Wildlife and domestic animals
  • Other trail users (skiers, hikers)

Ice Riding

Avoid riding on frozen lakes and rivers because ice conditions are never guaranteed. If you must cross over ice, stay on the packed or marked trail. Don’t stop until you reach the shore. If you hit slush, don’t let off the throttle. If you are following someone who hits slush, veer off to make your own path. If you must travel over lakes and rivers then consider using a buoyant snowmobile suit which will help you reach the closest ice surface and have picks that to grip the edge of the ice more easily. If you do break through the ice, don’t panic. Follow these tips:

  • Kick vigorously into a horizontal position and swim to the nearest ice edge. Place hands/arms on unbroken ice while kicking hard to propel your body onto the ice, like a seal.
  • Once clear, stay flat and roll away to stronger ice.
  • Stand, keep moving and find shelter fast.

Avoid hypothermia by dressing warmly in water-resistant layers helps, but if immersed, quickly replace wet clothes, keep moving to generate body heat, and find immediate shelter and warmth.

Frostbite results from freezing temperatures and poor circulation. Cover up and layer well, making sure that socks fit loosely within your boots. Use mittens with liners.

Have a Safety Kit with…

  • Spare belt
  • Spare spark plugs
  • Manufacturer’s tool kit
  • Extra wrenches nuts & bolts sized for your sled
  • Tow rope
  • Pry bar
  • Duct tape
  • Wire jack-knife

Follow the Rules

Check with natural resource and law enforcement agencies and snowmobile dealers or clubs in the area you are visiting to make sure your ride results in legal and hassle-free snowmobiling. Be careful when crossing roads of any kind. Come to a complete stop and make absolutely sure no traffic is approaching from any direction. Then cross at a right angle to traffic. 

Keep your machine in top shape. Before each ride, follow the “pre-op” check outlined in your owner’s manual.

Plan Ahead

“Snow plans” describing your machine and your planned route can be time- and life-savers. Leave only with your family or friends. Always let your family and friends know you’re back or have arrived at your destination. Also, never snowmobile alone!

About Daniels Insurance, Inc.

At Daniels Insurance, Inc., we have a unique understanding of the risks that people like you face on a regular basis. With the backing of our comprehensive coverages and our dedication to customer service and quick claims resolution, your business will be fully protected. For more information, contact us today at (855) 565-7616.