Snowmobiles or snow machines can help people get around more easily on winter terrain and also give them an opportunity to enjoy some outdoor recreation in the cold weather.
But like any motor vehicle, a snowmobile can also be a serious hazard when drivers fail to take the right precautions or encounter unexpected obstacles.
Recently, an accident in Alaska involving two snowmobiles resulted in the death of one snowmobile rider and injury for another. According to news reports, both speed and alcohol were factors contributing to the accident. Investigators have also reported that no one was wearing a helmet at the time.
In addition to some of the dangerous behaviors already mentioned - the speeding, alcohol use, and lack of helmets - there are other risky mistakes people make with snowmobiles.
For example, they may fail to keep the snowmobile well-maintained, and beyond that, they may tamper with it in such a way that the vehicle becomes compromised and less safe. Before using a snowmobile, you should check that it's in good working order.
Another issue is that people don't plan their snowmobile travels properly. They don't pack adequate supplies, both in terms of items such as food, extra dry warm clothes and a first aid kit, but also in terms of equipment needed specifically for the snowmobile, including tools to repair it and an extra key for the ignition. Furthermore, they may venture out on terrain that they aren't familiar with, and have no map or means to reliably contact emergency personnel.
As Alaska personal injury lawyers who have worked with many people injured during winter travels, we urge you to stay safe on your snowmobile. Accidents can result in death and also in various grievous injuries to the brain and other body parts. Don't hesitate to contact us for legal assistance if you've experienced a snowmobile accident and are struggling to cope with the costs in the aftermath.