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Stay Safe on Your Snowmobile this Winter

According to the latest count by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, there are 43,000 kilometres of registered snowmobile paths in the province of Ontario. Even though the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs points out that a helmet and a valid driver’s license are legally required to operate a snowmobile in Ontario, there are still plenty of people not operating their snowmobiles as safely as possible. When you decide to go out and enjoy the winter on your snowmobile, you are putting yourself and others at risk. There are several ways which you can stay safe on your snowmobile and still have a good time.

Avoid Lakes and Ponds

One of the thrills of driving a snowmobile is the feeling of speed when you cross an iced-over pond or lake. But with the winters getting warmer and the actual freeze time of lakes being shorter, this activity has become unnecessarily risky.

The Ontario Provincial Police suggest that snowmobile drivers avoid any pond, lake, river or stream that still look gray in spots. Gray ice usually means very thin ice that can be dangerous. The best ice is the ice that has frozen over blue from the shores to the center. The police also recommend avoiding snow-covered water as snow acts more like an insulation that prevents water from freezing as opposed to helping the ice to freeze.

Watch Your Speed

Never exceed the posted speed limits when driving your snowmobile. On the 43,000 kilometres of officially registered snowmobile paths, the posted speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour. If you plan on snowmobiling on paved roads, then you should keep your snowmobile at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour or less.

The faster you go, the less control you have over your snowmobile. You also have to remember that there are others out there on the paths and roads as well. Just because you may be able to stop does not mean that other people can. When you observe the posted speed limits, you are able to react faster and prevent an accident.

Be Safe

Never go snowmobiling alone. If something were to happen while you are out on your snowmobile, then having a friend with you could save your life. When you and your friend are out snowmobiling, you should either stick to the posted trails or only stay on routes you know. The last thing you and your friend want to do is to get lost while snowmobiling.

When you are out in the open air on your snowmobile, be sure you are wearing the proper attire for the weather and that you are also wearing your safety gear. A helmet, goggles and a good pair of gloves are essential to your safety when you are out on a snowmobile.

Be smart when you are snowmobiling so that you can avoid an accident that could injure you and possibly injure others as well. Follow the rules of safe snowmobiling and stay on the posted trails to make sure that you maximize the short window of time that the winter season gives you.

For assistance with a personal injury or insurance claim, please email David at dhimelfarb@himprolaw.com. To be contacted immediately call 1-855-446-7765 for a free case evaluation.

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