SnowmobileCredit: Morgue FileHave you ever wondered what causes snowmobile accidents, what a snowmobile actually is, or what kinds of snowmobiles there are? Well, you can find out right here in this descriptive article.

Snowmobiling is a lot of fun, but also very dangerous. You have to take certain precautions that many people don't take, otherwise it can be very dangerous and cause many fatal accidents. The next few paragraphs I will be describing accidents and how you can prevent them.

The main cause of snowmobile accidents is falling through the ice. If the ice looks too thin then don't go on it. Keep in mind that there is always a constant current in a river so it won't freeze all the way through. There are always going to be thin spots on a river. Also, bright orange barrels will be out on the lakes to show you a path of where the safe areas you should go are. If the lakes aren't marked with them you shouldn't go on them. 85% of the accidents that happen in Wisconsin are because of snowmobilers falling through ice.

Don't go anywhere with your snowmobile if you have been drinking alcohol. Drinking and driving is a serious cause of accidents and can cause serious injuries or deaths to you or to other snowmobilers. If you are involved in an accident someone might take you to get a test, and if you have been drinking you will be fined. If you make a pit stop at the bar you should never feel ashamed to call for a ride if you have to. You can always go get your snowmobile the next day. It is better to be safe than sorry. You can't take back the decisions you have made and the accidents you have caused. It is very important to think about your actions before you do them.

"Never go faster than you feel is too fast", is what most parents tell their children as they learn how to drive. As children can get their license at 12 years old they want their children to take the necessary precautions. Speed is a very dangerous subject and can cause people to run into trees, cars in the road or other snowmobilers. If you are in a head on collision with two snowmobilers, in most cases people are seriously injured. Slow down if you think you are going too fast.

It has been studied that the brand, ski-doo, is one of the safest snowmobiles because it has less suspension which makes it easier to steer and causes less accidents. In many cases, people may find a snowmobile hard to steer. If you are in an accident or have spotted an accident you must report it otherwise you can be fined. Snowmobiling is a lot of fun but you have to remember to take certain precautions.


Important terms to know

Snowmobile-a engine driven vehicle that is made for snowmobiling. It has skis to be used when in contact with the snow. A snowmobile doesn't have any inflatable tires. It is operated in races, competitions, and used for entertainment on marked trails.

Snowmobile route-means a highway or sidewalk designed for the use of snowmobilers.

Hours of Darkness-is the period of time from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before the sun rises. This also applies to any other times where there isn't natural light to see clearly. Although you do have lights on your vehicle, some people only feel comfortable with driving their snowmobile during daytime hours.

Headlamp-major lighting device used to provide general light ahead of a vehicle.

Tail lamp-a device that is designated for the rear of any vehicle by a warning light.

Snowmobile trail-a marked area on public property or on private lands subject to public lease. This is where snowmobilers are designated to go to operate their vehicles.

Know the signals. When you're snowmobiling you should known the signals of how to stop or slow down, turn right or turn left and tell the person behind you that there is another snowmobiler coming. Also, if you are traveling with others you should warn upcoming snowmobilers of how many people are behind you by holding up 1 finger, 2 fingers, etc. Gloves are best to use when snowmobiling so you can tell people effectively. If you are wearing mittens people won't be able to see how much fingers you have holding up. It is dangerous to try to take off your mittens while you are snowmobiling.

Positions. There are different positions and ways you can ride a snowmobile. Posting is a squatting position with the bottom off of the seat and the feet under your body. This allows the legs to absorb shocks when going over bumps or any other uneven terrain. Kneeling position is popular when moving a snowmobile. You place one foot on the running board and the other knee on the seat. The standing position is popular with some people. Your knees should be bent slightly to absorb any shock. This is an effective position so you are easily able to shift your weight in different directions.

It is important that before you even start riding your snowmobile that you check a few things. If you remember the letters "TBP" you are all set. "TBP" stands for throttle, breaks and point. You should always check your throttle and breaks before you start your snowmobile to make sure there is nothing wrong with them. The next thing you should do is point your snowmobile in the correct position. The last thing you would want to do is start the snowmobile out going in the wrong direction and running into something.

After reading this article you should have a good understanding of what to do while snowmobiling. Although you will learn all of this in your classes, it is good to read this article often so you never forget. It is a good reminder of general information to remember when snowmobiling in the beautiful winter snow.

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