MARSHALL — Recent heavy snowfall has made for excellent snowmobiling conditions throughout the state, so the Minnesota DNR wants to remind eager riders to make safety a priority. To ensure a safe ride:
- Stay on marked trails. Minnesota’s snowmobile clubs work hard to maintain good riding conditions on the state’s trails.
- Don’t ride impaired. Drinking and riding is a primary cause of crashes and plays a role in about 60% of those that are fatal.
- Watch your speed and stay to the right. Going too fast is another main cause of crashes. Many serious and fatal crashes occur when a speeding snowmobiler loses control or strikes an object. When meeting another snowmobile, always slow down and stay to the right.
- Be careful on the ice. In recent years, nearly every through-the-ice fatality has involved people who were riding a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle when they fell through. There must be at least 5 to 7 inches of new, clear ice to support the weight of a snowmobile and rider.
- Take a snowmobile safety course. It’s required of anyone born after 1976 and recommended for everyone. People with snowmobile safety certification are less likely to be involved in serious or fatal crashes.