MNR Snowmobile Safety Tips

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GREAT RAPIDS – The winter season is upon us, which means it’s time to enjoy some snow sports. In Michigan alone, there are 65,000 miles of designated snowmobile trails and thousands of backcountry backcountry acres. Snowmobile safety should always be a priority because serious accidents happen every year. The snowmobile season continues until the end of March and speeding is the number one cause of serious injury or even death among snowmobilers. Last season there were 315 crashes with 15 fatalities compared to this season so far where there were 60 crashes and 3 fatalities.

The DNR says that before riders set off they should prepare their machine and make sure they understand the capabilities of their snowmobile and also check the weather and plan what type of trip you are about to take. Finally, tell someone where you are going and when to return in case of an emergency. Trail laws work the same way we follow in our cars, but snowmobiles are more dangerous to ride.

Cpl. DNR Snowmobile Specialist Mike Hearn says, “There is little room for error on a snowmobile. You know, I’ve seen tragic events with someone having an accident at 25 miles, 25 miles an hour. So, you know, saying that, you know, danger levels at 50 or 55, that’s just not true. at all.”
DNR’s Ride Right Campaign is currently working to get all riders on the same page to follow the same track and groomer etiquette and ride to your own ability. You can find a card with each MNR Designated Trails on their website and sign up for a snowmobile safety course which is mandatory for 17 and under and strongly encouraged for all.

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