Snowmobilers Are Reminded To Ride Safely
The first snow of the year has fallen on much of Maine, and snowmobilers are eager to get out and enjoy the season. Before doing so, riders should keep safety in mind. These following tips will contribute to a safe and enjoyable ride.
- Ride Sober -- A high percentage of snowmobile fatalities and
injuries are the direct result of someone's irresponsible use of
Don't drink and ride. Don't let anyone else in your group drink and
- Ride At A Reasonable Speed -- Speed limits are determined by existing conditions. If you can't control your sled safely at the speed you are going, you are going too fast. You are not only threatening your safety, but the safety of others around you. Slow down.
- Be Aware Of Conditions -- Early season riding often means little snow or poor cover. Objects that are covered later in the season are now exposed or barely hidden. Ride accordingly.
- Be Aware Of Darkness -- Low-light and darkness require special care. The flat lighting that is present in December can alter depth perception and the ability to see. Slower speeds ensure a safer ride.
- Travel Together -- Don't ride alone, and let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.
- Use Hand Signals -- The use of a simple set of hand signals on the trails keeps traffic orderly and predictable. These signals inform other sledders of your actions. Know them and use them.
- Ride Defensively -- You can do everything right, but still encounter a rider who is doing everything wrong. By riding defensively, you will be prepared to respond and avoid a dangerous situation.
If you would like more information on snowmobiling safely, please contact the Recreational Safety Division of the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department at 207-287-5220. Snowmobile Safety courses are offered in all 16 different counties around the state and for a complete listing, please check the department's web site.