Keys to Staying Safe While Snowmobiling

A man riding a snowmobile surrouded by pinesThis season is an exhilarating time for snowmobile enthusiasts, and the snowy December we’re currently experiencing in New England hopefully foretells a perfect winter for riding. Making it further enticing is the fact that it’s an activity that can be performed while properly social distancing. While it’s no doubt snowmobiles are loads of fun, it’s crucial to remember that they can be a dangerous piece of equipment if not handled appropriately. Understanding some of the keys to staying safe while snowmobiling should be a top priority.

Making Sure Your Snowmobile is Ready to Ride

You’ve probably been eager to take your snowmobile for a spin ever since spring melted away the last of the snow, but now that we’re in winter, there are a few steps you need to take before you hit the trails. A few measures you need to take to make sure your vehicle is ready to ride include:

  • Take a Safety Course: If you’re new to snowmobiling or it’s been some time since you’ve ridden one, a safety course can be of help. If you’re a rider below the age of 18, it’s required by state law to complete the Off-Highway Vehicle Safety Certificate Course.
  • Register Your Snowmobile: Before you can operate your snowmobile in Massachusetts, you need to ensure it’s registered. The list of documents, forms, and applications required for registration are provided on’s dedicated page.
  • Inspect Your Snowmobile: Just like your car, you have to inspect and perform regular maintenance on your snowmobile. That means checking the fuel and oil levels, lights, brakes, battery, and sparkplugs. Also, replacing the skis when they’re loose or worn is vital.

It’s also helpful to have an emergency kit in the storage compartment of your sled in case you become stranded. In this kit, ensure you have first-aid materials, spare spark plugs, a rope for towing, a flashlight, and nonperishable food items.

What to Know While on The Snowmobile Trail

It’s important to be mindful of your surroundings and obey the speed limits on the trails. While snowmobiles are known for their traction on the snow, it’s not out of the ordinary to lose control if you hit a particularly icy patch. Some other things to consider while on the trails include:

  • Never Ride Alone: Many obstacles exist out in the wilderness, including fallen trees, animals, and thin ice. To avoid becoming stranded or injured, make sure to bring a friend along.
  • Stay on Marked Trails: While it may seem fun to be a trailblazer, riding on unfamiliar terrain is extremely dangerous and can even result in trespassing on someone’s private property.
  • Check the Weather: Ensure you read the day’s forecast, so you’re no caught in the middle of a sudden blizzard or thunderstorm.

Snowmobiles also require a lot of vigilance, so make sure to remain free of distractions while operating the machine.

Insure Your Snowmobile

Not only is insuring your vehicle a smart decision, but it’s also required by Massachusetts’s snowmobile laws and many of the surrounding snowmobile destinations, such as Vermont and New York. A typical policy for recreational sporting vehicles includes coverage for liability, collision repairs, vandalism, theft, and medical expenses for the rider, passenger, or third party. While snowmobile insurance is extremely affordable – sometimes costing as little as $100 annually – some companies offer discounts for safe driving and bundling.

Following these keys to staying safe while snowmobiling allows you to focus on the fun aspects of the activity. To give yourself complete peace of mind and ensure you’re financially secure in the event of an accident, it’s important to make sure you have the right snowmobile coverage. At TJ Woods Insurance, our expert agents can help pair you with the perfect policy for your needs. To see how you can be covered in time to enjoy the snowmobiling season, contact us today.