Snowmobiles Can Find Unwelcome Surprises in the Snow
Posted by Pardridge Insurance Agency, Inc. on
For snowmobile riders, the search for fresh powder can sometimes turn into a journey of surprises when fence posts or other obstacles cross your path. Grinnell Mutual recommends riding on trails and familiar terrain to help prevent accidents and injury.
“The most common incident reported are from riders who don’t see a fence in a field,” said Thad Means, a claims adjuster at Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. “It’s a big problem because it can tear the machine up. If the fence is level with the rider’s body, it can also cause injury.”
Know where you will ride
After a winter storm, the blanket of fresh powder beckons snowmobilers and their machines.
“Fresh powder snow makes for good riding,” said Means, an avid snowmobile rider himself. “When you have an endless white plain and a good snowmobile, it’s a pretty big thrill.”
Riders can create dangers for themselves when the pursuit of powder leads them off of trails into unfamiliar territory.
“If you know the trails, you’ll know the escape route to avoid animals or other hazards you may encounter,” said Laurie Cisewski, a claims adjuster with Grinnell Mutual. (Read more about trail riding.)
A lack of pre-ride planning can have consequences.
“The majority of claims we see come from a lack of planning by riders,” said Means. “The riders don’t know the property and the obstacles. Unfortunately, they will find them. It takes nothing to catch a fence post and they’re on their sides, instantly.”
One way you can prevent an accident is to speak with the land owner before riding on the property to get permission and to learn whether there are any hazards such as high tensile fences, culverts, or other objects that may be obscured by snow.
“If you are preparing for a group trail ride, every driver in your group should take a look at the map,” said Cisewski. “It’s a safety precaution. Everyone needs to look at the map.”