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When Are Catastrophic Injuries from Snowmobiling Accidents Most Likely?

by Feb 21, 2023Dea Cortney, Personal Injury, Snowmobiling Accidents

Minnesota is a winter wonderland that offers an abundance of opportunities for outdoor winter activities, including snowmobiling. While snowmobiling can be a thrilling experience, it can also be dangerous, if not done safely. Every year, there are nearly 300 serious snowmobile accident-related injuries reported in Minnesota. These injuries require hospitalization, and many are considered catastrophic injuries. In this blog, we will discuss the conditions under which snowmobile accidents are most likely to happen and how you can avoid becoming the next victim of a catastrophic injury.

Speeding

One of the leading causes of snowmobile accidents is speeding. It is important to remember that a snowmobile is a powerful machine that can reach high speeds. Excessive speed can result in the operator losing control of the snowmobile, leading to accidents. Sometimes snowmobile trails aren’t well-groomed or clearly marked, which means traveling on them at a high rate of speed can cause the rider to slam on their brakes and experience whiplash, head injuries, or even be launched into the air. It’s also common for accidents to be caused by riders running into obstacles like trees, which are much more difficult to avoid when driving at an excessive speed. It is crucial to stay within the speed limit and always be aware of your surroundings.

Alcohol Consumption

Snowmobiling while under the influence of alcohol is another leading cause of accidents. Alcohol impairs judgment and slows reaction time, making it difficult for the operator to react quickly in dangerous situations. Unfortunately, it’s all-too-common for riders to stop at a local bar and have a few drinks before getting back on their sleds. This puts everyone on the trails, including sober snowmobile operators, at risk. Collisions are one of the most common types of accidents when alcohol is involved, and they often cause catastrophic injuries. To keep everyone safe, urge your fellow riders to refrain from consuming alcohol before or during snowmobile rides.

Poor Visibility

Snowmobiling during poor visibility conditions, such as blizzards, fog, or darkness, can be dangerous. It is challenging to navigate through unfamiliar terrain and avoid obstacles under such conditions. Since it gets dark early in the winter, it pays to plan your day out in advance to make sure you aren’t snowmobiling at night. It is best to avoid snowmobiling during poor visibility conditions.

Inexperience

Inexperienced snowmobilers are also at a higher risk of accidents. Snowmobiling requires a certain level of skill and expertise to navigate through unfamiliar terrain, handle the sled, and avoid obstacles. Every rider should take a snowmobile safety course to gain the necessary skills and knowledge before operating a snowmobile, but that simply isn’t a reality. Therefore, even experienced riders need to keep in mind that not everyone on the trails has the knowledge to keep themselves and others safe.

Catastrophic Personal Injury Attorneys Minnesota

Is snowmobiling dangerous? Not necessarily; it can be an exciting and fun winter activity, but it is important to do it safely. Snowmobile crashes can be catastrophic, but many can be prevented by following the guidelines mentioned above, including staying within the speed limit, refraining from alcohol consumption, avoiding poor visibility conditions, gaining the necessary skills and knowledge, riding in safe areas, and ensuring the snowmobile is well maintained.

If you’ve been in a Ski-Doo accident and suffered a catastrophic injury, contact a personal injury lawyer right away to learn about your rights and options. Sieben Edmunds Miller’s snowmobile accident attorneys can help you negotiate with the insurance companies and will represent you in court if needed. Give our office a call at (651) 994-6744.

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