Make sure it doesn't end where it all started
Wisconsin is the birthplace of snowmobiling and maintains some of the best snowmobiling trials you can find, especially in northern Wisconsin. If you take a quick trip up north to Sayner, Wisconsin, the “birthplace of the snowmobile,” you can visit a museum, which houses the original hand built "motor toboggan" from 1924, the first snowmobile.
Every year, more than 200,000 registered snowmobiles hit Wisconsin's 25,000 miles of trails, making safety a vital part of the ride. Wisconsin law requires that riders born after 1985 become certified to operate a snowmobile, and the DNR also recommends a safety course be taken. The personal injury lawyers at Hupy and Abraham, S.C. believe that, like motorcycles, safety is of the upmost importance when you hit the trails, and hope the following five tips will help keep riders safe this winter.
- Never ride alone
Many things, including snowmobiling, is much more fun with a couple of friends. It is also much safer. Riding in a group ensures that someone will always have your back. Pairs can look out for each other during the ride. If you do choose to ride alone, before you leave be absolutely certain to follow safety procedures and to ensure that you have proper safety equipment, tool and emergency kits and personal items with you.
2. Frozen water
There is no specific way to know that if a frozen lake is in fact safe. However, it is important to know that a snowmobile needs five inches of clear solid ice. Be extra careful when going across frozen water. This is one of the primary factors of snowmobile accidents. Continually avoid ice if you notice any water on the edges, or if you see cracks or holes on the surface. A very smart thing to do is to ask for the guidance of a trustworthy source, such as a local bait shop to check the thickness of the ice.
3. Do not ride while intoxicated
Riding while intoxicated is just as hazardous as driving while intoxicated. Intoxication impairs your judgment and when your judgment is impaired, you make mistakes. You could miss a turn or take it too fast. You could crash or miss an obstacle. According to the DNR, more than 50% of snowmobile accidents involve intoxicated riders. Not only is it foolish, but also it’s a crime.
4. Slow down
Just as on roadways, speed limits are posted for a reason. Visibility at night in particular becomes limited to the distance of your headlights. Obstacles often present themselves quickly. The slower you go, the more room you have to stop and the safer your ride will be.
5. Dress appropriately
Wisconsin weather has a way of changing at the drop of a hat. Before heading out, check the forecast to ensure you are prepared for whatever weather is in store. Dressing in layers under a snowmobile suit is best so you can adjust what you are wearing to correspond with the changing conditions.
Polyester blends wick moisture away from your body, so these are the best choices when selecting clothing items. Cottons tend to get wet and freeze with dropping temperatures. You should always wear a full-face helmet, goggles or a face shield. Be sure to also wear waterproof gloves, a winter hat and winter boots.
We hope you have a wonderful and safe winter season riding in our beautiful state. If the unfortunate happens and you become injured in a snowmobiling accident, contact the personal injury experts at Hupy and Abraham for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call 800-800-5678 or start a live chat with us anytime at Hupy.com.