Avoiding Alcohol When Riding…. Yes, But Ability And Knowledge Of Snowmobiling Is Also Critical To Safety
With all of the snowmobile accidents Game Wardens dealt with this weekend, safety is certainly an issue they are wanting to emphasize. But being responsible is one way to be safe…. The ability to ride is another.
“Snowmobiling is fun and it attracts many tourists to the area, but it can dangerous and sometimes deadly. So it’s important to be safe, that’s the obvious part. But one thing that people sometimes don’t take into consideration for being safe, is their ability and knowledge of snowmobiling.”
Maine Game Warden Alan Dudley says, “There’s a lot of variables in operating a snowmobile, the trails, the conditions, the operators experience, the machine itself and when you’re going at high rates of speed all of the sudden that ability to process all these variables is a lot more limited.”
At least 8 snowmobile accidents happened this weekend. One was in Fort Kent, another in Dyer Brook. Both were speed related.
Dudley says, “I’ve been doing this for a long time, covered quite a few accidents in the winter time, and a high majority of them are speed related.”
Information on snowmobiling and trails to the visitors are available through trail reports, local clubs, the chamber of commerce and so on, but that doesn’t always prevent accidents.
Caribou Rec. Dept. Director Kathy Mazzuchelli says, “You’re in the woods, you’re a long way away in some instances, the trails are very good and very smooth, but you have to expect that there are corners, trees don’t cause accidents, sledders cause accidents, trees don’t move – animals, there are a lot of deer.”
Animals are just another variable to take into account when sledding out there. But responsibility is the key whether it’s a tourist or a local getting on their machine.
Dudley, “It takes your body to lean into the corners, knowing when to apply the brake or maybe being able to accelerate.”
Dudley says there was a lot of activity on the trails this weekend. He expects the same until the end of winter as snowmobilers try to ride out the season before the snow is gone.