Snowmobiling is a great way to get outside and enjoy everything winter has to offer. While It may be a winter wonderland out there, there are still many risks and hazards that can quickly turn your fun ride into a serious situation. Before you hit the trails, keep these snowmobile safety tips in mind.
- Keep an eye on the weather. Make sure you know the weather forecast before you go out. If there’s a good chance of bad weather, stay safe and warm indoors.
- Dress appropriately. When it comes to snowmobiling, layers are your best friend. Have well-insulated, water-proof gear on top, with moisture-wicking layers beneath. Avoid absorbent materials where possible. If they get wet, they can make you colder. Investing in a snowmobile suit is a good idea if you’re a frequent snowmobiler. You should also have properly fitting safety gear such as a helmet and goggles. Warm gloves and boots are also a must.
- Learn your local laws. Make sure you’re aware of the local and provincial snowmobiling laws in your area. They’re designed to keep you safe, so abide by them.
- Plan ahead. Plan your snowmobile route in advance, and tell a friend or family member about it. Incase of an emergency, they can call for help. If you have a cellphone that allows you to share your location with a friend, do so. This will provide an accurate location to anyone that needs to find you.
- Only use official trails. Designated snowmobile trails are well-groomed and maintained to give riders an ideal experience. If there are official trails in your area, use them.
- Stay off the road. The majority of paved roads and their shoulders are off-limits to snowmobilers. Road vehicles are larger and faster than snowmobiles, putting the rider in danger. If you must cross a road, make sure to abide by the laws and speed limits in place.
- Stick to the speed limit. Like with any vehicle, too much speed can spell disaster. Make sure you obey the speed limits in place. If the weather is bad, go even slower. Speed limits can vary based on area, so make sure you find them out before you hit the trails.
- Stay sober. The same rules apply to snowmobiling as they do with operating any vehicle. Driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis is not only illegal, but extremely unsafe.
- Avoid frozen water. Driving over a frozen body of water is very risky. You can easily lose traction or worse: fall through the ice. Only drive over ice when it’s absolutely necessary, and make sure the ice can support your weight. If you’re unsure, take another route.
- Use hand signals. If you snowmobile, it’s very important you know all the hand signals needed when riding. Not only do you need to signal your turns, you need to know the signals for approaching riders or when you’re slowing down.
Even if you abide by all the previous safety tips, accidents can still happen. It’s important you have the coverage you need if and when those situations arise. The most common types of insurance for snowmobiles are: third-party liability, collision coverage, accident benefits coverage, and comprehensive coverage. Most provinces mandate a minimum amount of coverage, but it’s always a good idea to go above and beyond that to insure you have the coverage you need.
If you’re unsure of the type of coverage you need, or if you have any other questions or concerns, contact us. One of our qualified brokers would be happy to help.