Sadly at this time of year , we start to receive many calls regarding snowmobile accidents. Many people are wondering about what types of compensation are available to snowmobile riders , what type of insurance is required and what accident benefits come in to play if injured in a snowmobile accident.
Safety Week January 21 – 29, 2017
This winter’s weather is bringing out snowmobilers and the OPP is urging them to focus on safety.
A snowmobile is only as safe as the driver and the key to safe operation is knowing the rules and exercising good judgement. Last winter, the OPP investigated 15 snowmobile-related fatalities. They revealed that 58 per cent of snowmobile-related fatalities involved alcohol or drugs, 57 per cent involved speeding or riding too fast for conditions and 58 per cent occurred at dusk or after dark. 87 per cent of last season’s snowmobile-related fatalities involved male riders and 58 per cent were riders or passengers between the ages of 35 and 54.
Snowmobile Accidents and Safety Week
Snowmobile safety week presents an opportunity to review some important safety guidelines.
Don’t drink and ride
Drinking always impairs judgment. Whether this means not checking ice conditions or driving too fast, lack of judgment and frozen water can be deadly.
Especially at night, it’s hard to know what’s out there on the lake. Whether sketchy ice, another rider or an obstruction, you won’t see it in time if you are moving too fast.
Check the condition of the ice
Experts say there’s no way to know for sure if the ice is safe. That means extreme caution is required.
Snowmobiles need five inches of clear solid ice. Check with a trusted local source (like a bait shop) and check the ice yourself when you get there.
Don’t ride alone
Riding with a buddy can be a lifesaver in any number of situations. Even if you are travelling with a friend, tell someone else your plan and check in when you arrive safely.
Avoiding Snowmobile Accidents
Did you know that an average of 40 people visit an emergency department for injury resulting from a snowmobile accident in Ontario ? The weather is warming up slightly and I wanted to remind snowmobile drivers of the dangers of crossing water at this time of year. I know most snowmobile riders are experienced and know when it is safe to cross but given the number of accidents each year, I figured a reminder might be timely.
Please be sure to always check ice conditions before venturing out , as we all know conditions change in just a couple of hours. A buoyant snowmobile suit is always best to wear while riding on frozen lakes or rivers. Please always bring an ice pick with you and make sure it is always accessible. Your stopping distance increases when travelling on ice, so slow down. If you must go on ice, ride on ice that is new, hard and clear. Always avoid all ice that is slushy, or close to moving water.
Ontario Ministry of Transportation Speed Limits for snowmobiles:
50 km/h – on snowmobile trails
20 km/h – on roads where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less
50 km/h – on roads where the speed limit is over 50 km/h
Hopefully we can have fewer snowmobile accidents this year and all riders can continue to enjoy their sports safely !
If you have been injured in a snowmobile accident and want to know which accident benefits you are entitled to, contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. We represent people throughout eastern Ontario who have been injured and are highly experienced in the nuances of snowmobile accidents. We have helped thousands of others and we can help you.