- December 30, 2018
- Posted by: Sage Shield Safety Consultants
- Category: Overseas Occupational Health And Safety News
With more than 14,000 miles of trail, Maine is considered one of the best places in the world for snowmobiling. It’s a great winter activity, but it can be dangerous.
Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said there were six snowmobile-related deaths last year. He said the two most common factors in accidents are speed and alcohol.
“People spend thousands and thousands of dollars on snowmobiles and trailers and equipment to haul them. We’re just asking that they make that investment into safety equipment to bring along with them as well,” MacDonald said Thursday at a snowmobile demonstration. “It could save their life.”
Safety equipment includes things like helmets, picks of life, food and extra clothing. It also is important to let people know where you’re going and if plans change.\
“If you come to a junction or a place you’re really not sure, I would recommend not going there. Always plan ahead,” said Joe Higgins, the supervisor for Maine’s state snowmobile program.
Officials also wanted to remind people that safety rules apply off trail as well.
“Stay off tree plantations where trees have just been planted,” warned Bob Meyers, executive director of the Maine Snowmobile Association. “Stay off plowed roads where you could easily get involved in a collision with a logging truck and obey any signs posted on landowners property.”
Dangerous ice conditions could be a problem because of the fluctuating temperatures.
Riders can check in with local snowmobile clubs for ice conditions, but ultimately are responsible for using an ice chisel to check conditions for themselves.
“We had many many close calls. About a dozen, maybe more, of people going through thin ice and almost by miracle almost all made it out relatively quickly and survived it,” MacDonald said.