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As the temperature dips and the snow flies, snowmobilers will inevitably want to hit the trails. Snowmobiling can make for a great time, but it can also make trouble if drivers get too careless. Even individuals who are otherwise very safety-conscious can get carried away in the thrill of snowmobiling and forget to be cautious while enjoying the recreational sport. According to recent reports, 6 people were killed between Christmas and New Year’s Day in snowmobiling accidents in Michigan. Sadly, two more deaths occured this past weekend in Kent County when two passengers lost control of their snowmobile, went off the path and struck a tree.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources increased their safety efforts this last weekend since many snowmobilers wanted to enjoy the heavy snow falls. In order to ensure accident-free winter fun, the DNR has the following advice for experienced snowmobilers:

    • Always keep your machine in top mechanical condition.
    • Always wear insulated boots and clothing including a helmet and gloves.
    • Never ride alone. Always go with a friend on another snowmobile.
    • Avoid, when possible, crossing frozen bodies of water.
    • Never operate in single file when crossing a frozen body of water.
    • Always be alert to avoid fences and low-strung wires.
    • Never operate on a street or highway.
    • Always look for depressions in the snow.
    • At an intersection, come to a complete stop, raise off the seat and look for traffic.
    • Always check the weather before you go.
    • Leave a travel plan.

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