Snowmobile safety tips
Zero alcohol keeps you safe on the trail
Drinking alcohol before snowmobiling or during your ride slows your reactions, impairs your judgment, and is a leading contributor to snowmobiling deaths. Last winter, alcohol was involved in 70 percent of the 23 snowmobiling fatalities.
Join DNR in the international zero alcohol campaign that urges every snowmobiler to take personal responsibility for reducing alcohol-related crashes. Wisconsin conservation wardens will be handing out zero alcohol stickers to snowmobilers and asking you to display it.
Here's what you can do to help:
- Display the sticker on your helmet, snowmobile, trailer, or vehicle.
- Choose to be 100 percent alcohol-free until after your ride is over and you're safely home.
- Commit to riding only with other snowmobilers who are alcohol-free.
More safety tips
Wisconsin's recreation safety specialists recommend you take these other precautions to stay safe on the trails this winter:
Slow down. Speed is a contributing factor in nearly all fatal snowmobiling accidents. Drivers should proceed at a pace that will allow ample reaction time for any situation. Drive at moderate speeds, and drive defensively, especially after sunset.
Carry a first-aid kit and dress appropriately, Your first-aid kit should include a flashlight, knife, compass, map, and waterproof matches. Always wear a helmet with goggles or a face shield to prevent injuries from twigs and flying debris. Wear layers of water-repellent clothing and make sure you have no loose ends that might catch in the machine or tangle in equipment.
Avoid traveling across bodies of water when uncertain of ice thickness or water currents. Rapidly changing weather and moving water in streams and lake inlets also affect the thickness and strength of ice on lakes and ponds. Snow cover can act as a blanket and prevents thick strong ice from forming.
Stay on marked trails or, where allowed, on the right shoulder of the road. Be alert for fences, tree stumps and stretched wire that may be concealed by snow.
Never travel alone. Most snowmobile accidents result in personal injury. The most dangerous situations occur when a person is injured and alone. If you must travel alone, tell someone your destination, planned route, and when you will return.