Winter in Wisconsin brings accumulating snow and for many, the opportunity to get outside and experience it. For snowmobilers, the chance to enjoy the trails can’t come soon enough. As the birthplace of snowmobiling, one of our favorite pastimes in Wisconsin is exploring the trails on our machines.
More than 200,000 registered snowmobilers hit Wisconsin’s 25,000 miles of trails each winter. With all of that traffic, it’s important to keep snowmobile trail safety in mind.
Tips to stay safe on the trails
Staying safe on your snowmobile is an important part of the ride. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has some recommendations to stay safe while you’re riding:
- Slow down as speed contributes to nearly all fatal snowmobile accidents.
- Stay on the marked trails or on the right shoulder of the road where allowed.
- Use caution at railroad crossings.
- Dress for the conditions in layers and with wind and waterproof gear.
- Wear a helmet and goggles.
- Carry a first aid that includes a flashlight, map, compass, knife and matches.
- Avoid traveling across lakes, rivers and streams since ice conditions are unpredictable.
- Travel with a friend. If you must travel alone, let others know about your route and plan.
- Don’t drink and drive. Alcohol impairs your judgment-last winter, 70% of snowmobile crashes were alcohol related.
Staying safe on the trails will keep all of us enjoying one of our favorite wintertime sports.