Michigan is one of the leading states in the United States for snowmobiles. Our system has some of the finest trails and the beauty of our state provide for the finest places to ride.
Every year, snowmobilers are injured or killed in accidents. Many times, these accidents are not their fault. They are the fault of other negligent riders or vehicles. These accidents involve automobiles, other snowmobiles and negligent/risky behavior of drivers.
In Michigan 15 people died during the 2017-2018 season while snowmobiling, according to a Michigan Department of Natural Resources report. And over the 2019 MLK weekend, five snowmobilers were killed in a single day. Some of their deaths involved failing to obey traffic signage, riding during white-out situations, driving recklessly, riding while intoxicated and wrongly negotiating unfamiliar roads and trails. Many more riders suffered serious injuries.
The DNR is partnering with the Michigan Snowmobilers Association and other concerned groups to promote a “Ride Right” safety campaign that reminds snowmobilers to :
- Ride to the right side of the trail
- Keep a safe speed
- Stay sober
- Watch for and yield to trail groomers
What heightens the possibility of injury or death on a snowmobile in Michigan?
The number of injuries and fatalities comes as no surprise. With 189,096 registered snowmobiles in 2017, Michigan is ranked in third place for the most registered snowmobiles (lead by Wisconsin (211,410) and Minnesota (196, 687). On average, snowmobilers put 1,210 miles on their machines during the season. The State of Michigan has 6,500 signed and maintained snowmobile trails. This results in over $1 billion dollars of economic impact for the benefit of the State of Michigan, its businesses and riders.
Unsupervised snowmobiling is allowed by people at least 12 years of age if they have a snowmobile safety certificate. All snowmobilers are to obtain a certificate of registration. Helmets are required. Snowmobiles are required to have a lighted head-light and taillight at all times.
Snowmobile accidents create some of the more extreme injuries.
Snowmobilers are allowed to cross roads, next to a road and are faced with traveling with or against traffic that is moving faster.
These injuries are similar to the same injuries suffered by motorcyclists. Add to the kinds of injuries, the extreme conditions may cause frostbite and drowning from breaking through the ice in lakes and rivers.
What legal rights does a snowmobiler have?
As with any vehicular accident, drivers, other snowmobilers, property owners and anyone who causes injury or fatality can be held responsible.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a snowmobile accident, please call us today to evaluate your case.
Recent Snowmobile Related Issues
Arctic Cat recalled almost 21,000 snowmobiles on Tuesday, after discovering an issue with the fuel tank. Yamaha is also recalling a 400 snowmobiles.