January 18 to 26 was Snowmobile Safety Week in Ontario, an event meant to celebrate snowmobiling while promoting safer riding. Unfortunately, the week was overshadowed by a tragic accident in Quebec in which six snowmobilers, including five French tourists, lost their lives. For every snowmobile accident lawyer in Ontario, the event was a reminder not only that snowmobiling is inherently risky, but also that most snowmobiling injuries can be avoided.
The accident on January 21 occurred when six snowmobilers – the five French nationals and their Canadian guide – plunged through thin ice near Lac-Saint-Jean in the Saguenay region. The party was traveling along an unmarked trail, the BBC reported.
In a separate event ten days later, six more snowmobilers survived a plunge through ice on Lake Magog, near Sherbrooke, Quebec. One man suffered severe hypothermia, according to CBC News Montreal. Friends of the group said the riders were unfamiliar with the area.
An experienced snowmobile accident lawyer can help you access compensation for injuries sustained in certain types of accidents. In some cases, they can also help secure benefits through an insurance provider.
The OPP recently shared detailed safety advice for snowmobilers in order to reduce serious injuries on the province’s trails. Here are a few of the most important tips:
Be Prepared: Being properly prepared for your snowmobile trip can help you avoid accidents and overcome challenges along the route. Before you head out, the OPP recommends filling your gas tank; checking weather, trail, and ice conditions; dressing appropriately; and always telling someone where you’re going, what route you’re taking, what your snowmobile looks like, and when you plan to return. It is safest to ride with a partner whenever possible.
The OPP also recommends packing a survival kit including a first aid kit; a GPS unit, map, and compass; matches or a lighter in a waterproof container; a knife, axe, or saw; ice picks; a flashlight; a whistle; high-energy food like nuts or granola bars; and an extra set of dry clothes. Finally, the police service recommends packing a mechanical kit including a spare spark plug and drive belt; a tow rope; a screwdriver, wrenches, and hammer; and an owner’s manual.
Drive Safely: Careful preparation can help you survive an accident; careful driving can help you avoid accidents altogether. The OPP recommends taking corners and hills carefully; always obeying speed limits and road/trail signs; using appropriate hand signals before slowing down, stopping, or turning; and exercising extra caution at car and railroad crossings.
Extra precautions are necessary in risky driving conditions, including driving at night and driving on ice. For nighttime driving, the OPP recommends reducing speed, wearing reflective clothing, and always using headlights. For driving on ice, the police service recommends wearing a buoyant snowmobile suit; avoiding slushy ice, weak ice, ice near moving water, and ice that has recently frozen or thawed; and always checking on ice conditions with your local snowmobile club. Avoid driving on unfamiliar lakes or rivers at all costs.
Contact an Experience Snowmobile Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you know is injured in a snowmobile accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free no-obligation consultation. An experienced snowmobile accident lawyer will assess your claim and offer guidance and advice as you pursue compensation.
Image credit: New Brunswick Tourism/Wikimedia Commons