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10 Tips for Safe Sledding Ontario’s Winter Trails

It’s Wintertime and the weather’s fineThe snow on the woods and fields when I reveal… my snowmobile
Thrill by thrill by golly n’ hill
Baby it’ll make ya feel like an outdoor meal…
On a snowmobile

Stompin’ Tom Connors, The Snowmobile Song

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Snowmobiling is a popular winter sport enjoyed by approximately 2 million people of all ages across North America. Unfortunately, snowmobile injuries count among the top of all winter sports injuries. This season Stay Safe with Team Teggart’s Top Ten Tips for snowmobiling:

  1. Drive sober. A high percentage of snowmobile accidents are caused by alcohol. Even a small amount can impair your ability to react.
  2. Know how to operate the snowmobile. New machines are very powerful and come equipped with a lot of different accessories. Get to know your machine.
  3. Ensure your snowmobile is in good working order. Fill up your gas tank, check your taillights and stop lights and carry a First Aid or survival kit.
  4. Travel in groups when possible. If you must travel alone, let someone know where you are when you will be back. Bring a cell phone for emergencies if there is reception in the area.
  5. Wear a helmet and dress according to the weather. If possible, insulated waterproof snowmobile gear is best.
  6. Drive according to conditions. Watch your speed over road and railway crossings as well as unexpected turns, stops, open water and unsafe ice. If travelling at night, reduce your speed.
  7. Avoid towing passengers on sleds, skis or inner tubes behind the snowmobile.
  8. Travel on approved trails. The majority of injuries and deaths occur on public roadways. Stay on the right side of trails to avoid oncoming traffic
  9. Watch for obstacles hidden by snow. Be aware of your surroundings, including oncoming sleds, other trail users and wildlife.
  10. Ensure your snowmobile has accident benefits coverage.

Lastly, have fun! Snowmobiling allows you to get outdoors to enjoy the beautiful winter landscape, feel the wind in your face, and make new friends!

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