One of the things that you might get to do in the winter that doesn’t isn’t possible in the summer is take a snowmobile for a ride. This pastime has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, going from a means of transportation or fun winter activity to a full-fledged sport.
Nevertheless, just because something is popular doesn’t mean that it is automatically going to be safe, especially for unqualified individuals who think they can ride in the same manner as the pros. Even seasoned snowmobile riders can be thrown from the vehicles, so safety must remain vital if ever you get on the back of such a vehicle. A new press release from Amica Insurance relates some important tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and you should keep them in mind this winter.
The first thing to make sure of is that you’re capable of safely operating the vehicle. That may require training or at least oversight from someone who already understands how to properly use the snowmobile, but it also means not putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage with poor decisions.
By poor decisions, we mean things like failing to put on a helmet while you’re riding. A helmet is essential so that you will be offered at least some kind of protection should you be thrown from the vehicle. In the snow, you never know when a blanket of white disguises an obstacle like a rock or a tree stump, and a helmet can serve to protect you from these.
Being smart also means removing alcohol from the equation. Just like you shouldn’t pilot an automobile while you’re drunk, you shouldn’t pilot a snowmobile while inebriated either. If you do, your reaction time will be diminished and you’ll be tempted to make decisions that are less than intelligent. Plus, inebriation leaves you more susceptible to the dangerous effects of the cold if you’re outside for a long time.
It’s never going to be safe to be stranded somewhere in the cold, so make sure you always have someone with you in case assistance is needed. That way, the person with the broken-down snowmobile can hop aboard their buddy’s vehicle or the person with the still functional conveyance can go get help. The risk of a breakdown is also a good reason to wind down snowmobiling as nightfall gets closer and closer.
When you’re on the back of a snowmobile, make sure not to get distracted. Keep your eyes ahead and on your surroundings so that you’ll be able to pilot around anything dangerous. Be especially attentive when approaching the crests of hills, as these could disguise a drop in the terrain that could put you at risk.