SOME SAFETY TIPS FOR SNOWMOBILERS
Never ride alone! Someone there to help in an emergency could mean the difference between life and death. Help to get unstuck, start your sled, call for help or go for help is just plain a good idea. Anyway, it’s more fun to ride with a friend. There are ALWAYS people willing to ride, use the message board to find a riding buddy.
Know the trails. Staying on the official club trails is always the best idea. These trails are maintained not only for ride ability, but also for safety. If you must ride on local or private trails (with proper permissions, of course), know where you are going and what type of hazards are to be encountered/avoided. Ride with someone who knows the way if you do not. Knowing where you are at all times will also aid in faster response to the scene in case of an accident.
Get permission! Not only does this keep the landowners happy, it helps keep you safe. Landowners that know that people are using their land to ride on will be more careful about erecting barricades. They can inform you if they have done any work that might create an unsafe situation, such as new fences or ditches. You would be surprised how many landowners will let you use their land if you just ASK FIRST!
Keep your equipment in top condition. It is no fun if you break down on the trail. A malfunction can also cause accidents that could result in injury. Be sure that your sled is in good working order before you head out for a ride. Carry a safety kit on your sleds at times. Items in the kid should include: flashlight, hand warmers, thermal blanket, tow strap, flares, bandages, and sterile dressings. Other items you may want to carry are: cell phone, siphon, waterproof matches or a lighter, extra spark plugs, extra clutch belt, tie wraps.
In the event of an injury on the trail, remember these basic tips:
In the case of an accident with injuries, especially broken limbs or head/neck injuries, IMMOBILIZE the victim and keep them warm. NEVER move an injured person unless they are in immediate danger (in water, unsafe location). Place the hand warmers, one in each armpit and one on either side of the groin for maximum warming of the body’s core. Wrap the victim in a thermal blanket. Avoid wind if possible.
NEVER REMOVE THE HELMET IN THE FIELD! Unless necessary to perform CPR, helmet removal could cause serious injury or even death! Even if the victim thinks that their head/neck is okay, try to immobilize the helmet and wait for help. EMTs are trained in the proper removal of protective headgear.
CALL FOR HELP AS SOON AS YOU CAN. Be sure to give clear directions to the emergency personnel as to your location and the situation. You can request a helicopter from the 911 operator if you know that there is a suitable landing area nearby. This will save time in getting one there if needed.
REMEMBER THE ABC’S OF EMERGENCY CARE:
A - Airway. Be sure that the victim has a clear airway.
B – Breathing. Be sure the victim is breathing.
C – Circulation. Be sure the victim has a pulse.
GOOD SAMARITAN LAW.
In New York State, you are not liable for any injury resulting from the efforts to lend assistance to another person as long as you are NOT a paid or compensated caregiver. This means that you should never fear helping someone could result in a lawsuit.