Winter is the perfect time to take out the snowmobile and hit the trails. However, proper care and caution are necessary to ensure you and other rides are safe this winter. Off-roach recreational vehicles like snowmobiles are especially vulnerable to accidents as you’re not as protected as you would be if you were in a car or truck. Many factors can affect the safety of your ride. At James H. Brown and Associates, we are passionate about advocating for injury prevention and the rights of Albertans who’ve been injured in an accident. Below are a few common causes of snowmobile accidents, how you can reduce your risks this winter, and how James H. Brown and Associates can help if you end up in a snowmobile accident. Keep reading to learn more.
Understand the Risks Before You Ride
Alberta is a stunning province in the winter, offering families and adventurers the opportunity to explore our wild backyard while riding a snowmobile. While riding through fresh snow and soaking up the incredible natural beauty of the province is excellent, it’s essential to be aware of the risks of operating a snowmobile, especially in the backcountry where rough and uneven terrain prevail. From 2013 to 2020, Canada saw, on average, 73 people die yearly in snowmobiling accidents. Many of the causes of these deadly accidents are entirely preventable. Some of the most prevalent reasons for snowmobile accidents and injuries are below:
Operating a Snowmobile while Under the Influence
Recreational vehicles like snowmobiles or ATVs don’t mix well. Drinking or consuming mind-altering substances removes your ability to make proper decisions and judgements. Combing those substances and snowmobiling can put you, your passengers, and other riders at a significantly higher risk. While it may be fun to have a drink or two with the gang, it’s best to save the brews until after your snowmobiling adventure.
Underage or Inexperienced Drivers
Regardless if you’re renting a snowmobile to go adventuring with the family or you own your own, it’s essential to make sure anyone who will be operating a snowmobile is adequately trained and of legal age to be running such equipment. At James H. Brown and Associates, we strongly recommend that any minors out riding a snowmobile or other recreational vehicle, for that matter, are supervised or accompanied by an adult. We also recommend that all parties involved (adult or minor) take the time to learn how to properly operate a snowmobile safely and go over some best safety practices before starting their ride.
Unsafe Riding Conditions
Snowmobiles are designed to be driven on snowy, rugged terrain. Experienced riders will know when riding conditions are no longer safe and will call it quits. Some of the most severe snowmobiling accidents occur when riders try to push the limits of their recreational vehicles regardless if the terrain is still safe. Unsettled snow and unfamiliar terrain or trails require extreme caution as it can be easy to accidentally ride into something hidden in the snow or around a hidden corner. Speed is also a significant factor in snowmobiling accidents. To avoid major injuries like spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries, carefully monitor your speed and never drive your snowmobile faster than you can control. Flip-overs and wipeouts are common snowmobiling accidents, so being aware of your riding conditions and speed helps prevent these accidents.
As with motorcycles and ATVs, snowmobiles require adequate personal protective equipment like helmets and gloves. These vital pieces of gear can keep you safe and warm if an accident happens. If you’re planning on riding your snowmobile this winter, do so responsibly and wear the proper equipment that will keep you safe and help you to avoid devastating injuries. Failing to wear the right equipment that is undamaged and in good condition isn’t worth the risk. Your health and happiness are more important than deciding not to wear a helmet.
What Should I do if I’m Involved in a Snowmobile Accident?
Sometimes the unexpected still happens even when we do our best to avoid a snowmobiling accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in a snowmobile accident, the critical first step you need to take is to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you feel okay or like your injuries are minor, it’s vital that a medical professional checks out your injuries to ensure there isn’t something more severe going on. After your snowmobile accident, carefully monitor yourself for any of the following symptoms in the coming days following your accident:
- Pain in the neck or back
- Stiffness or decreased range of motion in your neck or shoulders
- Arm pain or weakness
- Blurred vision, dizziness, or fatigue
- Radiating headaches that start at the base of your skull and migrate upwards
- Sudden numbness, tingling, or pins and needles sensations in your neck or fingers
- Memory gaps or difficulty recalling information, and more.
After seeking medical attention, gather all relevant information about your accident, then contact a snowmobile accident lawyer at James H. Brown and Associates. Our team of personal injury lawyers will assist you and your loved ones through the legal process and answer any questions you may have. With over 250 years of combined personal injury experience, our team can help you and your family get the justice and compensation you need to focus on your recovery. The law around recreational vehicles like snowmobiles is complex, but you’re not alone! James H. Brown and Associates is passionate about ensuring Albertans like you have the legal counsel, resources, and support they need following a snowmobile accident.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Recreational Vehicle Accident?
At James H. Brown and Associates, we offer free, no-obligation consultations, so if you’re unsure how to navigate the legal world of recreational vehicles and personal injury claims, our team can help! Contact us today to learn more about getting started with James H. Brown and Associates.