The snow is on the ground and we’re in the middle of winter, which means it’s time to put your snowmobile license to good use and try out some new trails. Snowmobiling is a winter activity that many take part in for the adrenaline rush alone, but it is still a vehicle with specific safety precautions that must be considered. Here are some tips to stay safe while enjoying snowmobile season!
Wear Protective Gear
Snowmobiling poses it’s own safety risks, as it is a recreational vehicle that allows you to navigate trails and rough terrain. Head injuries are common and are the number one cause of serious physical harm or death. In addition, snowmobiles can be operated at high speeds, increasing the chance of frostbite. Easily avoid this risk by protecting your head with a helmet, and by wearing gloves, goggles and a face mask. Not only will your head be properly protected, but you will be able to protect your skin from snow, ice, and any other debris. Worried about being exposed to extreme temperatures? Consider purchasing a ski suit, and wearing the appropriate footwear. Socks made from nylon, polypropylene, fleece, wool, silk or other synthetic blends are breathable and are less likely to trap sweat, allowing your feet to remain dry. Keep your feet warm by wearing the right pair of boots as well. Look for ones with good lug soles for traction, waterproof properties and a breathable liner made of wool.
Know Where and When to Drive your Snowmobile
Snowmobiling is a fast-action sport that requires quick reaction times, so it’s essential to know where and when you should go snowmobiling. Driving a snowmobile follows very similar rules to driving a car or motorbike such as the requirement of a license, but poses different risks due to the terrain you use it on. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to drive on flat trails until you gain control and are familiar with the vehicle. If you’re more of an advanced driver, you may feel comfortable riding off-trail in varying terrains. Keep in mind, however, that 80% of snowmobile-related deaths occur off-trail. If you do go off-trail, ensure you are not alone and that you carry a cell-phone in case of an emergency. As for when to go snowmobiling, try to avoid operating the vehicle at night or during inclement weather, as visibility can become compromised.
Whether you’re storing your snowmobile for the season or overnight, avoid storing it under a tarp outside. Tarps do not typically provide enough protection from outside elements and trap moisture, which can lead to corrosion. Instead, store your snowmobile in a dry, sheltered space like a garage, and place a soft cover over it to protect it from the elements. You can also relieve tension from the springs by elevating the rear end of the snowmobile and placing a jack stand under the rear bumper. If you have a pest problem, keep rodents from chewing through the seat by placing mothballs under the hood.
Ready to make the most of the remaining snowmobile season? Ensure you are properly insured; after all, it is mandatory in Ontario. Contact us today to learn how you can stay safe and protected with snowmobile insurance. Our team will be more than happy to give you a quote and answer any questions you may have.