Snowmobile Safety Tips

The snowmobile season has just opened in the North Country, and there’s already been snowmobile fatalities.

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 5:56 PM

At least 3 fatal snowmobile crashes and a number of snowmobile related injuries has law enforcement in the North Country and right here in Oneida County frustrated. They held a snowmobile safety press conference just last week, but the message doesn’t appear to be getting through. Speed and conditions are to blame, but Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol thinks it’s partially due to the machines.

"High end suspension, heated seats, heated handle bars, all that stuff, you feel like you’re going about 40 when in essence you’re going you know 75 or 80, so you have to know your machine, you have to know the trail conditions."

Sgt. Matthew Bauer patrols the trails in Oneida County and tells us how you have to be particularly careful this time of the year.

"Water hazards, earth embankment hazards, just general hazards that may appear on the trails. As we all know the trail conditions can change based on weather. There’s a lot of ice, and that drastically reduces your braking ability, and also your steering ability, and it’s my understanding that that’s been a major factor in some of the fatalities and accidents that have occurred already this year."

The weather conditions have made for icy spots, and that’s why Sheriff Maciol says it’s so important to watch your speed.

"The most common snowmobile accidents that we see time and time and time again are when people are attempting to stop, they get ejected from the sleds, and they get thrown into a tree."

In addition to knowing the trail conditions, you should also dress appropriately, wear protective gear, carry a first aid and emergency repair kit, and know your machine before you head out. Also avoid frozen rivers and lakes. Never ride alone. Always ride with a buddy in case you run into any problems on the trail. Snowmobile clubs are recommending a snowmobile safety course. The courses are free, so make arrangements to take a class so you don’t have to make funeral arrangements.

Check out the New York Parks and Recreation website for a list of classes in your area. 

https://parks.ny.gov/recreation/snowmobiles/safety-courses.aspx

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2761545

Reported Deaths: 57695
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings35194510985
Queens32876810428
Suffolk2585103695
Nassau2285103337
Bronx2142426810
New York1780704667
Westchester1491242357
Erie1274102074
Monroe995101257
Richmond934401975
Orange62994944
Onondaga60557823
Rockland55844783
Dutchess38356513
Albany34983417
Oneida33796648
Niagara29420423
Broome28730437
Saratoga25383228
Schenectady19693247
Ulster19396293
Rensselaer17811197
Chautauqua15410197
Oswego14513138
Putnam13290101
St. Lawrence13212146
Chemung13095176
Steuben12858193
Ontario11974121
Jefferson11657108
Wayne10563105
Cattaraugus10254164
Cayuga9902114
Sullivan983090
Genesee8869146
Herkimer8557145
Clinton827948
Fulton7997115
Madison7563109
Warren755996
Tompkins755761
Livingston740277
Montgomery7353163
Washington691380
Tioga651774
Cortland616489
Allegany6146122
Columbia5842115
Chenango567997
Orleans567696
Franklin557826
Otsego553366
Wyoming546367
Greene505890
Delaware457652
Lewis429840
Seneca336069
Essex305938
Schoharie279424
Yates204134
Schuyler198920
Hamilton5253
Unassigned1482
Out of NY0340
Utica
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 25°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 25°
Herkimer
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 25°
Old Forge
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 25°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
2022 WKTV Golf Card only $99.99
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Stuff the Bus Locations
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve