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Snowmobile Safety


    This safety page was copied verbatim and with permission from Dingmans Bar.  It is the most thorough and well written set of safety instructions I have ever found.  Please read this page and then read it again.  Lets make snowmobiling as safe as possible for everyone on the trail!  -  Happy Riding.......




  • Do not start your sled and take off right away. Let the sled warm up this could prevent burning down your engine.

  • Do not use excessive speed.



  • Be sure your snowmobile is in top-notch mechanical condition at the beginning of the winter season and throughout the months of use.

  • Familiarize yourself with the snowmobile you are driving by reading in detail the manual accompanying the snowmobile.

  • Wear sensible, protective clothing designed for snowmobiling.

  • Use a full-size helmet, goggles, or face shield to prevent injuries from twigs, stones, ice chips, and flying debris.

  • Avoid wearing long scarves. They may get caught in moving parts of the snowmobile.

  • Know the terrain you are going to ride. If unfamiliar to you, ask someone who has traveled over it before.

  • Know the weather forecast and especially the ice and snow conditions in the area.

  • Always use the buddy system. Never ride alone or unaccompanied.

  • Do not pursue domestic or wild animals. No true sports person would stoop to such conduct. If you see a violation of this rule, report it to the nearest law enforcement officer.

  • At all times, be sure you have a properly operating lighting system on the snowmobile.

  • Drowning is one cause of snowmobile fatalities. When not familiar with the thickness of the ice or water currents, avoid these areas.

  • Don't remove the factory installed air box or muffler to install one that makes more noise. This would lessen the performance of your vehicle. The manufacturer is trying hard, for the betterment of the environment, to develop a quieter machine.



  • Make sure there is enough snow cover to ensure your sled is getting enough lubrication.

  • Check condition of your snowmobile clothing and ensure you have adequate accessories for warmth.

  • Stay on marked or familiar trails.

  • Obey all trail signs, markers and speed limits.

  • Know and use correct hand signals.

  • Learn the language of snowmobile trail signage.

  • Service your sled for maintenance and repair. Check your belt, track, oil, grease, change old fuel, ensure tail and headlights are working, place reflective material on sled for night riding.

  • Put together a safety kit and store it in the trunk of your sled. You will need a tow rope, first aid kit, survival food, spark plugs and extra snowmobile belt.

  • Plan your snowmobile ride. Tell someone where you're going so someone can find you if you're in trouble.

  • Obtain a snowmobile trail map of the area that you are riding in.
    Learn safe snowmobiling.

  • Make sure your sled fits you. Can you start and lift the sled on your own? Is it comfortable? Can you maneuver it easily?

  • Join a snowmobile club in your area. Clubs sponsor outings, build and maintain trails and hold safety seminars.

  • Remember it's two-way traffic on all groomed snowmobile trails.




  • Always wear an approved snowmobile helmet with face shield with no cracks in either.

  • Open face and closed face helmets are available Electric face shields are available and will not fog.

  • Wear a balaclava (nylon, fleece or wool), snowmobile gloves, mitts, pants, jacket or one-piece snowmobile suit, boots and heavy outdoor socks. Buy the warmest gear available; don't pinch pennies on snowmobile clothing and accessories.

  • Ensure the back of your jacket has reflective material. This will help the person following to have visual sight of you at all times at night. Also, place a reflective decal on the back of your helmet.

  • Wear a wrist mirror. This is an excellent safety device which enables you to check behind you without turning your body and causing your sled to swerve.





  • Do not start your sled and take off right away. Let the sled warm up this could prevent burning down your engine.

  • Do not use excessive speed.



  • Before you attempt any maintenance or repair of your snowmobile, you should review the owner's manual and decide just how much mechanical ability you have.

  • Don't attempt repairs which you do not understand completely. You might end up with a pile of parts and no snowmobile.

  • If repair is beyond your ability, you should have your local snowmobile dealer take care of it for you.

  • It is important to check your machine often, but you should not make adjustments which could endanger you and others when you are riding.

  • Once you make an adjustment on your snowmobile, remember to check it periodically throughout the season.

  • Out on a trail, your snowmobile could have a problem which could stop it completely. For this reason, YOU SHOULD NEVER TRAVEL ALONE.



  • If someone goes through the ice, you must act quickly.

  • The longer the person is in the water, the shorter their chance of survival is.

  • Do not step on the ice.

  • Tell the person who has fallen in to grab as far up on the edge as they can, and kick their feet. The kicking will help them stay afloat.

  • Yell for help and quickly look for something to pull them to safety a scarf, jacket, belt, or tree branch. Lie down as close as safely possible to the open hole and reach with whatever you have.

  • If other people are around, you can form a human chain.

  • When you get the person up on the ice, do not stand up. Crawl a number of yards away from the hole.

  • After you pull someone out, get them warm and dry as soon as possible and seek medical attention.

  • REMEMBER: Just because the ice is thick in one spot, does not mean it will be all over.

  • The best rule to follow is "If you don't know, don't go!"



  • Most snowmobiling accidents result from the operator error, overconfidence or inexperience.

  • The main contributing factors are: alcohol, speed, darkness, unfamiliar terrain, or ice, and, off-trail riding on roads or lakes.

  • Snowmobiling requires constant care, caution and attention.

  • DON'T DRINK AND RIDE. Even small amounts of alcohol can impair your perceptions, slow your reaction time and limit your ability to control your sled at that critical moment when your life is in the balance.

  • Moreover, snowmobiling often takes you to remote areas, miles from help, increasing your risk of permanent injury or death after an accident.

  • And contrary to popular opinion, alcohol increases your susceptibility to cold and hypothermia, thereby reducing your chances of survival if you have to wait long for help to arrive.



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