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There are more than 200 snowmobile deaths annually and over 14,000 reported injuries. Snowmobiles are a mix between cars, cross country skis and motorcycles. They can be extremely fun or very dangerous if handled incorrectly.

  • Take a class from the snowmobile association near you or your dealer before driving your snowmobile.

  • Know the power of your unit and what it can do.

  • Know the acceleration and breaking capabilities.

  • Know the center of gravity capabilities of your unit with the loads that you will be carrying.How steep of a grade can you travel up and down and across. Be conservative - stay far from these maximums when traveling.

  • Know your trails. Travel during the day on unfamiliar trails and only travel at night on trails you are very familiar with.

  • Wear an approved ANSC (American National Standard Council) helmet whenever you drive or ride on a snowmobile

  • Be aware that it is easier for you to see cars and trucks then it is for them to see you.

  • Travel with your headlights on and always give cars and trucks the right way.

  • Wait at least four hours after drinking alcoholic beverages, before you drive a snowmobile

  • Before driving on ice on a lake, make sure that the ice is at least 6 inches thick. Refer to the section on ice safety in this book.

  • Dress warm for the trip, realize that the speed of the snowmobile creates a wind-chill which will make it colder than it is when you are preparing for the trip.

  • Don’t wear a scarf or loose clothing which could get caught in the tread belt.

  • Travel in pairs whenever possible.

  • Keep your rider informed of what you are doing, realize the potential of the passenger falling off, therefore, refrain from quick movements and climbing steep slopes with a passenger riding on the back.

  • Let family members know where you are going an when you plan to return.

At night, leave the overhead (dome) light on so rescuers can more easily see your vehicle.

Adapted from the National Weather Service