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3 Tips for safe snowmobiling this winter

If you’re one of the thousands of Wisconsinites looking forward to doing some snowmobiling over the next few months, it’s wise to review the laws and safety tips from experts. If you haven’t taken a snowmobile safety course, it’s never too late to do so. They’re available online.

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a safety code that provides important guidance for anyone who takes to any of our state’s many snowmobile trails. Following are a few of the DNR’s tips that can keep you out of harm’s way and on the right side of the law.

Stay sober

Although the legal blood alcohol concentration limit is .08, just as it is for adults driving a car, it’s best not to have any alcohol in your system. It impairs your judgment and slows your reaction time – both of which can be highly dangerous when you’re on a snowmobile.

Check weather conditions ahead of time

You can check the ice conditions before you head out with reports from local snowmobile clubs, bait shops and law enforcement so you can avoid encountering ice.

Don’t ride alone

Always have at least one person riding with you. Snowmobile clubs are a great way to meet people who share your interests and to find new trails.

Even though it’s legal in Wisconsin for children who are at least 12 years old to operate a snowmobile, think carefully before you allow your child to do it. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that no one under 16 operate one. In addition to lack of skills, they are more likely to suffer injuries because of their smaller size if they’re involved in a crash.

No matter careful you are when you’re riding, you can’t always avoid a snowmobiler who is negligent or reckless. If you’ve been injured in a snowmobile crash caused by another person, you have the right to seek compensation to cover your expenses and damages. An experienced attorney can help you maximize your claim.

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