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The Risks of Snowmobiling

Posted on in Accident Liability

snowmobiling, Waukegan personal injury attorney, snowmobiling accidents, snowmobiling injuries, dangerous winter activitiesHere in the greater Chicago area we are blessed to be in close proximity to an abundance of outdoor recreation areas. With access to the Shawnee National Forest, the Pere Marquette State Park, and other incredible gateways to nature, local residents have no shortage of options for recreation. Even in the dead of winter, we can still get out and experience the natural environment.

Today many Chicagoans choose to enjoy nature through the use of snowmobiles. While snowmobiles can be exceptionally fun for outdoor adventure seekers, they do come with risk of severe injury.

Risk of Injury

Over the last few decades, snowmobiling has become one of America’s favorite wintertime activities. In 2017, upwards of 50,000 recreational snowmobiles were commercially sold within the United States. But as snowmobilers flock to the outdoors this holiday season, it is important to know the risks of taking part in this exhilarating but dangerous winter activity.

Every year approximately 200 fatal and 14,000 non-fatal injuries occur due to snowmobiling throughout North America. Most injuries in snowmobiling accidents are caused by head trauma, or severe injury to the spine or internal organs. According to the Wisconsin Medical Journal, many variables can lead to snowmobile accidents; however, the most common factors included in accidents are excessive speed, reckless operation of the vehicle, inexperienced drivers, poor visibility, and presence of alcohol.

Simple Safety Tips

Snowmobiling is an intrinsically dangerous activity, in large part due to the fact that most snowmobiles weigh more than 600 pounds and can travel up to 90 miles per hour. Consider the following  simple safety tips that can help any snowmobiler, novice or experienced, stay safe.

  • One huge component of ensuring snowmobile safety for you and your loved ones is staying on the the trail. A large percentage of snowmobiling injuries are caused by collision. According to the Wisconsin Medical Journal, these collisions commonly occur with barbed wire fences, snow-covered trees, bridges, or other snowmobilers. Most recreational trails are groomed and marked heavily, this means that exploring off trail can decrease visibility and increase the likelihood of colliding with dangerous obstructors.
  • Another simple but potentially life saving tip is to always bring sufficient gear. Whether its safety gear such as protective padding, helmets, lights, and extra blankets, or avalanche equipment for more experienced riders, meeting and exceeding the safety requirements of the sport can save your own life and the lives of loved ones.

Contact Us

If you and your family choose to spend part of this holiday season snowmobiling, practice extreme caution. If you or a member of your party are injured due to the negligence of another snowmobiler, a manufacturing defect, or a problem with trail maintenance, contact a compassionate Waukegan personal injury attorney today at 847-662-3303 for more information.

Sources:

http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/_WMS/publications/wmj/pdf/104/2/32.pdf

http://www.snowmobile.org/docs/isma-snowmobiling-fact-book.pdf

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