Winter in Michigan means it's time to break out the snowmobiles.
The Department of Natural Resources has offered the following tips to keep riders safe while enjoying the season:
- Always keep your snowmobile in top mechanical condition.
- Wear insulated boots and protective clothing, including a helmet, gloves and eye protection.
- Only ride in designated areas and trails.
- Check weather conditions before riding and be aware of changing trail conditions.
- Pick safe places to stop off the trail and never park or stand in the trail.
- Exercise additional caution when riding on an unfamiliar trail or when riding at night.
- Never ride alone; use the “buddy system.”
- Keep headlights and taillights on at all times and keep them clear of snow, ice or other debris.
- Be alert to avoid fences and low-strung wires.
- Use caution when approaching a trail intersection. Come to a complete stop when required and look both ways for traffic before proceeding.
- Stay clear of trail groomers, if possible. Never follow groomers, and give them the right of way.
- Avoid crossing frozen bodies of water, when possible. If you must cross, never do so while riding in single file.
- Wear a life jacket if operating on frozen bodies of water.
- Don’t trespass. If you don’t know whose property you are on, you probably don’t belong there.
- Operate at safe and appropriate speeds for the terrain.
- Never ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Snowmobilers can take safety education and online training courses, and riders between 12-16 years old must take the courses.
Snowmobilers should also learn Michigan's rules and regulations and universal signage.