Snowmobile Safety Tips - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Dec 9, 2019

Snowmobile Safety Tips

As snowy weather enters New York, it’s time to get out the shovels, snowblowers and snowmobiles! For those who love snowmobiling, this is an exhilarating time of year full of competitions and trail riding. As fun as snowmobiles are, it’s important to remember that a snowmobile is a serious piece of equipment and should always be approached with safety as the top priority. We recommend following these snowmobile safety tips to stay safe this season:

Take a snowmobile safety course
New York State requires those between ages 14-17 to complete a snowmobile safety course before operating a snowmobile without supervision. For those at least 18 years of age or older, you may operate a snowmobile without taking a course, however it is strongly recommended that all drivers complete one. Children 10 years old or under age 14 without a safety certificate may only operate a snowmobile on land owned or leased by their parent or legal guardian.  

Ensure your snowmobile is properly registered
There are many exceptions and exemptions to New York State law when it comes to snowmobiles. In some cases, a registration may not be required. It’s best to read up and ensure that your snowmobile is properly registered. You can find more information in the New York State Snowmobiler’s Guide.

Check weather conditions
It’s always a good idea to check impending weather conditions and prepare ahead. This applies to snowmobile drivers too! 

Have proper gear and equipment
Bundling up to embrace the cold is essential when the winter weather hits. Don’t forget your gloves, proper footwear and snowmobile helmet! In addition to gear, a first-aid kit, emergency kit, and repair tools such as spare spark plugs, socket wrenches, duct tape, a spare belt, and rope can be useful equipment to carry when riding. 

Inspect your snowmobile
Just like a personal vehicle, you should regularly maintain and inspect your snowmobile. Always refer to the recommended service schedule in your owner’s manual. Before hitting the trails, also make a point to take a few seconds to personally inspect your snowmobile—checking the lights, brakes, battery, fuel and oil levels. Always allow your snowmobile time to warm up, just as you would a car when first turning it on.

Stay alert & always bring a friend
There can be many dangerous obstacles on snowmobile trails including animals, fallen trees, fences, frozen water etc. As such, be sure to stay vigilant and alert when driving your snowmobile. Bringing a friend is not only fun but also increases safety! In the case of an accident, there is someone to help and a way out if needed. 

Stay on marked trails
New York state has marked trails that are less likely to have obstacles. Riding on unfamiliar terrain is not only dangerous, but it could also be private property. Unless you have permission from a landowner, it’s best to stick to marked trails. 

When hitting the trails this snowy season, be sure to use these safety tips to have fun and stay safe while snowmobiling! Looking to add your snowmobile to your existing insurance policy? Reach out to your local agent today!