Snowmobile Safety Tips

Snowmobile Safety Tips

  • Updated: 2023-07-05

In this article, we are going to talk about what you can do to increase safety while riding a snowmobile in order for you to have an enjoyable and safe activity. Some people ended up injured badly while riding a snowmobile. You can do this by hitting other vehicles, like cars or other snowmobiles, hitting trees and slipping on ice.

Other factors can increase the injuries like not securing a child that will eventually fall off the snowmobile, bad weather, and driving while under the influence of alcoholic beverages. This is why we have made a list of things you can do to increase your safety.

Don’t be afraid of taking a snowmobile safety course

If you have been riding your snowmobile without having attended a safety course, this might seem like an unpleasant activity and it certainly is, more than some of your daily activities. However, taking a safety course can make a difference and it might save your life someday. In some states, taking a safety course is compulsory and in others, it is not.

Safety courses usually teach you how to deal with unexpected situations and how to avoid  tragedies. They also teach you some techniques you can use while riding your vehicle and also what you should focus your attention on. Whether the course is compulsory or not, you should definitely take it.

Always take care of your snowmobile

Vehicle maintenance is not important just for cars or motorcycles, it is important when it comes to your snowmobile as well. This is why you should have it checked up periodically to prevent any malfunctions that can lead to accidents. It is essential to inspect it before every ride.

Firstly, it is important that you have enough gas before you start your ride. The oil and the battery should also be checked, as well as the brakes, drive belt, and headlights. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry, so it is not a waste of time to put aside 10 minutes to check up on these essential aspects. The rails should also be checked upon and kept clean.

Is protective gear just for motorcyclists?

If you think of a motorcycle rider, you always imagine one that is using a helmet. Protective gear is important for motorcyclists, but it is essential for snowmobile riders as well, especially because snow can be difficult to tame and you are facing a few dangers while enjoying this activity.

The clothes that you wear are important because you should ride comfortably to be able to pay attention to where you are going. Clothes made of polyester are very effective especially if they are designed to keep you warm. Cotton is not such a great idea because you will sweat a lot in it.

To protect yourself, you should wear a full-face helmet. If you have a helmet that does not protect your face, you should also wear goggles or a face shield. The quality of your boots is really important because it can make or break the way you drive.

Never go anywhere without a first aid kit

Depending on where you want to go using a snowmobile, the necessities in case of an injury and when your vehicle gets damaged are different. This is why always carrying a safety kit with you is very important so that you can get yourself out of danger. This should include the basics in case of injuries, like band-aids, sanitizer, bandages, and adhesive tape.

But imagine that your snowmobile breaks in the woods and you can not go home until somebody finds you. It is also important to have a flashlight with you, some waterproof matches, a knife, a water bottle, some energy bars, duct tape, and a compass. A map is also a plus because it can get you home easier if you are stuck somewhere without a phone signal.

Never leave the trails

This is very important for people who enjoy riding their snowmobile on uneven terrains and through forests. Trails are marked and are there for a reason. Getting lost is very easy and winter days are shorter, so you should always keep in mind that by 4 pm darkness might begin to fall and getting lost is not something that you want to happen to you.

It is also important to try to stay off private property, this is why trails are a good choice especially if you want to avoid that. People are not happy when others trespass and you can never know how they will react, they might call the police or, worst, they might become violent or even shoot at you if they are not sure if you are a wild animal or not.

Never let anyone below 16 to ride a snowmobile

While you wouldn’t let your 14 years old child drive your car, it might be tempting to let them ride a snowmobile because snowmobiles are used in places where nobody is watching. 

However, the most important thing you have to take into account is that riding a snowmobile can be very dangerous, especially for someone who does not have any experience and for children below 16 who are impulsive and don’t have the ability to detect danger, engaging more freely in risky behavior.

Even though you wear protective gear and think that they will listen to you, you should always keep in mind that something unexpected could happen and children and young teenagers might not know how to react and injure themselves or, worst, get killed.

Don’t drink and drive… or ride… ever!

Riding a snowmobile comes with the same responsibilities as driving a car. Furthermore, you could say it is more dangerous because you don’t have the body of the car to protect you in case of an accident. This is why you have to follow the same rules and you should never ride your snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol. 

Weather conditions and frozen water

Before engaging in a snowmobile ride, you should check the weather conditions. Some people use a snowmobile to get to work or do an important thing that involves their job. If that is not the case, however, and the weather is really bad, you should postpone your ride. If you cannot do that, try to limit your speed and your risky moves.

Frozen water is a problem that has to be dealt with in many circumstances and is often a cause of accidents, therefore you should know how to react in case you face this problem. If you spot frozen water, you should consider a few things: how thick it is, if a part of it is covered in snow or not, how deep it is, what color it has, and the outside temperature.

The outside temperature is very important because that makes a difference in thickness. If it is just below freezing then the ice shouldn’t be really thick. If the temperatures are a lot below those temperatures then the ice might be thicker and will actually hold the snowmobile’s weight.

Don’t be a lone-rider

A good practice of many people who ride snowmobiles is that they never ride alone. If you have someone with you all the time, even if something bad happens, someone is still able to call for help. Furthermore, if your snowmobile breaks in the middle of nowhere, you will not be alone and you will manage to get to safety easier.

This also means that your buddy has to follow the exact same safety rules as you do. Therefore, protective gear is essential and so is warm clothing. It would be best that your buddy has some knowledge of how to ride a snowmobile so that you can be replaced as a driver in case something bad happens to you.

Final thoughts

Riding a snowmobile is really fun and you should always keep in mind that you should enjoy the experience. But while you do that, try to keep in mind that safety comes first and that you should protect yourself and anyone else who is riding with you.