Safe, responsible riding is actively supported and promoted by organized snowmobiling. Snowmobile safety trainers have been conducting snowmobile safety classes for decades in the United States and Canada and in 1995 the community embraced the Safe Riders! You Make Snowmobiling Safe safety campaign – the guidepost for safe snowmobiling behavior.
The Safe Riders! campaign highlights that individual behavior and responsibility is the key to making snowmobiling safe. Snowmobilers understand that snowmobiling is fun, but it is work too. It challenges the body and the mind and you need to be attentive while snowmobiling. Safe snowmobilers know their abilities and understand not to go beyond them.
Snowmobile safety begins with the machine, which is built to the highest standards. It is the responsibility of snowmobilers to keep their machine in top running condition following all of the recommended pre-ride checklists found in the owner’s manual and making sure the vehicle is in top notch shape before riding.
Snowmobilers also understand the need to dress appropriately while snowmobiling. Individuals must wear warm clothing, generally supplied through the snowmobile manufacturers and dealers. The clothing includes, dressing in layers with high quality jackets, bibbs, boots, gloves and a certified helmet.
Snowmobilers need to think ahead and prepare where they are going to ride. It is best to file a plan with family or friends and let people where you are going to snowmobile. You need to be familiar with the riding area and or ride with individuals who have been there before.
Safe snowmobilers follow the key guidelines of the Safe Riders! campaign:
* Snowmobiling and alcohol don’t mix – don’t drink and ride
* Ride safe, stay on the trail and respect private property
* One is the loneliest number, never ride alone
* When riding on the trail, ride right and ride smart. Stay in Control
* Smart Riders are safe riders and they take snowmobile safety training/refresher courses.
* Snowmobilers know before they go and always check local ice conditions
* When night riding, safe riders slow down and expect the unexpected
Safe mountain riders know that avalanche safety training and awareness is of special importance. There are 5 key avalanche safety guidelines which should always be remembered when riding in the mountains:
Get the Gear: Ensure everyone has an avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe on their person and knows how to use them
Get the Training: Take an avalanche course which will highlight key issues.
Get the Forecast: Make a riding plan based on the current avalanche and weather forecast.
Get the Picture: If you see recent avalanche activity, unstable snow exists. Riding on or under slopes is dangerous.
Get Out of Harm’s Way: One at a time on all avalanche slopes. Don’t go to help your stuck friend, the extra weight could initiate an avalanche. Also, don’t group up in runout zones or at the base of mountains.
Snowmobile safety training courses are available throughout North America and can be found by visiting your state or provincial snowmobile association website.