Thanks to Al Tompkins at The Poynter Institute, we have some great tips for folks heading out into the snow this season...
Sports-related Winter Injuries
Winter sports are tons of fun, but pediatric trauma centers say they see a significant number of sports-related injuries this time of year. Just look at the number of accidents that have occured around the country. Many stem from people riding snowmobiles.
According to DNR officials, alcohol consumption, a collision, and an accident that occurred off a groomed (plowed) snowmobile trail.
The International Snowmobile Congress in June 2002 endorsed a zero-percent blood alcohol level as the only acceptable level for riding a snowmobile.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says:
The CPSC offers these tips:
2. Drive only on established and marked trails or in specified use areas.
3. Avoid waterways. Frozen lakes and rivers can be fatal. It is almost impossible to judge adequate ice coverage or depth.
4. Avoid driving in bad weather. Check warnings for snow, ice and wind chill conditions before starting.
5. Watch the path ahead to avoid rocks, trees, fences (particularly barbed wire), ditches and other obstacles.
6. Slow down at the top of a hill. A cliff, snowbank or other unforeseen hazard could be on the other side.
7. Don't hurdle snowbanks. You have control only when your skis are on the ground.
8. Learn the snowmobile traffic laws and regulations for the area. Many states prohibit using snowmobiles on public roads. Some states have minimum age requirements for drivers.
9. Be sensible about stopping at roads or railroad tracks. Signal your turns to other drivers. Avoid tailgating. Control speed according to conditions.
10. Use extra caution if driving at night, as unseen obstacles could be fatal. Do not drive faster than your headlights will allow you to see. Do not open new trails after dark.
11. Never drink while driving your snowmobile. Drinking and driving can prove fatal.
12. Be sure the snowmobile is properly maintained in good operating condition. Some cases report that the throttle sticks, leading to loss of control. Snowmobiles manufactured before 1983 may not have a "throttle interruption device" designed to shut off the snowmobile in the event the throttle sticks.