Here in Minnesota, most of us partake in a winter sport or two. After all, one of the benefits of winter is the sports that come with it. But, along with the bitter cold temperatures and snow come some necessary safety measures. Here are some tips on snowmobiling safety that will help you to enjoy the sport and be safe so you can enjoy it again next year too.
Minnesota Snowmobiling Safety Tips
Take a Snowmobile Safety Course – There are MN snowmobile safety courses for both youth and adults that combine both online and traditional learning through the MN DNR. For a new rider or someone who may need a refresher, these are great resources.
Inspect your Snowmobile First – Make sure everything is running properly before heading out including fuel, oil levels, brakes, batteries, lights, taillights, etc.
Check the Weather– Watch the windchill or expected snowfall so you can adjust plans as necessary.
Dress to Stay Warm, Dry, and Protected – Get waterproof winter gear including a ski mask, jacket, gloves, socks, and boots. Of course, don’t forget the helmet.
Ensure Visibility – Make sure your headlights are functioning properly and you have the right goggles or glasses. Snowfall can block signage and overall visibility so be aware of your surroundings.
Be Familiar with Area – Before venturing out, learn about your location and the trail. Identify hazards such as lakes, rocks, or fallen trees that may be hidden under the snow.
Don’t Speed – Drive at a pace that will allow for visibility, safety, and quick responses.
Looking for Minnesota snowmobile trails? Here are some snowmobile trails in Kandiyohi County and beyond you may want to explore!
Stay Away from Frozen Lakes and Rivers – The MN DNR reminds us, that ice is never 100% safe! They do not measure ice on lakes for safety guidelines, it is the responsibility of each person. They recommend checking the ice every 150 feet. It’s hard to gauge how thick the ice is in Minnesota so it’s best to stay off the water.
Don’t Ride Alone – Always ride with a partner or group and let others know where you are going and when you will be back. It’s more fun and safer.
Carry a First-aid Kit and Emergency Kit – Being prepared for the unexpected will help you get through a tough situation. Some basic supplies can include a basic first aid kit, emergency kit (flashlight, waterproof matches, etc) and snowmobile repair kit (duct tape, tow rope, spare belt, etc.) Here is some more information on winter emergency kits and safe winter driving.
Don’t Drink and Drive – Just like driving a car, never drive a snowmobile while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Stay alert so you can react quickly as needed.
Don’t Overload your Snowmobile – Be aware of the approved passenger and weight limit for your snowmobile so that you don’t overload it. Snowmobiles are not designed to pull sleds or other objects behind.
Be Prepared – Insure your Snowmobile
Looking for snowmobile insurance? Snowmobile insurance can include Collision, Comprehensive, Bodily Injury Liability, and Property Damage Liability. The cost of insurance for your sled varies depending on the type of insurance coverage and the make and model of snowmobile you drive. Here are some of the top questions to ask about snowmobile insurance, from our friends at Foremost Insurance.
Stay safe snowmobiling in Minnesota this winter and have fun! If you are in need of insurance for your snowmobile, fish house, auto, or home, contact the agents at MG Insurance using this quick form or call us at 320-235-9394. We can answer any questions you have on snowmobile insurance and provide you with multiple quotes so you know you are getting the best rate.