Spring is almost here and with the warmer weather, snowmobiling trails are starting to get icy. Which means hazardous conditions for snowmobilers.
Most of the past two weeks, temperatures were above freezing, even reaching 50 degrees one day. This melted down the snow, but with cold nights, this turns into ice on the snowmobile trails.
We spoke to the Snowmobile Patrol Unit for the Oneida County Sheriffs Office. Sergeant Scott Kahl said "This is one of the more dangerous times in the season to be riding because of the loss of the snow pack. So now you have more icy trails. The trails have melted down and froze."
It's a lot easier for snowmobilers to lose control on icy trails rather than fluffy snow. Sergeant Kahl said "Compare it to in the middle of the winter when there's a lot of snow and there's a pretty good cushion. And things are groomed out really well. It makes it for definitely easier traveling then. As compared to now. Everything pretty much now is hard as a rock out there right now."
And snowmobile accidents are more prone to happen during this time of year. There have been 16 accidents in Oneida County according to the 911 Center and a good portion of them were in the past month. Sergeant Kahl said "It seems to happen when it's icy is when it happens. Whether you have a January thaw and it happens then or you have a March thaw and it happens then. But it usually seems to happen, your more serious accidents, when it's icy conditions like now."
The snowmobile trails are still open, but if you go, drive slow and keep to the right. Sergeant Kahl said "Know your trail. You know what I mean. Know where you are. Know your area. Know where you're going. Make sure somebody knows if you're by yourself, where you're going and where you should be and an estimated time of when you're going to be back." Help prevent anymore accident, especially fatal ones.