February 17, 2015

Snowmobile and ATV owners that haven’t talked to their insurance company yet should do so as soon as possible to learn more about their coverage. These vehicles are often used for recreation but can have serious consequences if they are used recklessly. Here are some ways to stay safe when using a snowmobile or ATV this winter:

Protect your head – The wind can be harsh on skin, and even worse on your eyes if they aren’t protected. Wearing goggles or a mask protects your eyes from the wind and snow, and also improves visibility. Wear a helmet to protect your head if you fall or crash.

Wear gloves Your hands are at the receiving end of strong winds and freezing temperatures, so keep frostbite away by wearing gloves.

Ride Sober Alcohol and drugs are impairing and make driving dangerous. Riding a snowmobile or ATV under the influence is just as dangerous as driving a car under the same circumstances. Please don’t drink and drive.

Know your vehicle’s limits – These vehicles are designed to work under very specific conditions, so make sure you know what your vehicle can handle. For example, having an extra passenger in a one seated vehicle can push the vehicle over its limits.

Talk about it Let someone know when you’re leaving and when you expect to be back. When you do this, you’re making sure that someone will know something is wrong if you aren’t back when you should be.

Ride on trails When there are trails, use them. They are more predictable and are easier to drive on than other areas.

Know where you are driving – Do you live where there are avalanches? How about steep hills or cliffs? Make sure you know what kind of risks are in the area that you are driving, and be prepared for them.

Carry a kit – In case something does happen while you’re travelling, carry a safety/survival kit with you. You may be stuck for an hour or a day, so be prepared. Having a kit on hand can be the difference between life and death.

Snowmobiling and ATVing are fun activities, but also require precautions. Be smart this winter and ride safely. If you get in an accident, you have the same benefits as your vehicle.

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