Winters in rural Canada can be particularly unforgiving. Whereas city-dwellers enjoy municipally orchestrated snow-removal, sidewalk-salting, and emergency services, Canadians who live in the country must be more self-reliant. Power outages last longer; plow services are sometimes unavailable; and visiting the supermarket requires driving long distances, even in inclement weather.
One stark advantage to living in a rural setting, though, is access to Canada’s expansive wilderness. And what better way to enjoy the countryside in the winter months than snowmobiling? In rural Ontario, snowmobiling is an incredibly popular pastime, one which can sometimes lead to serious injuries. By taking a few common-sense precautions, Ontario’s snowmobilers can remain safe throughout the season. And, if an accident should occur, you can always contact a Neinstein snowmobile accident lawyer to discuss your options.
Whether you’re on a snowmobile or in an SUV on a 400-level highway, two broad safety tips apply equally: be sober and follow the rules.
“There’s speed limits for on trails and there’s where they have to cross the roads and stuff like that. It’s just like the Highway Traffic Act or the Off-Road Vehicle Act,” said Const. Michael Melnychuk of the Perth County Ontario Provincial Police to the CBC. “Also, we like to draw attention to the fact that you’re not allowed to operate impaired on a snowmobile. We encourage no drinking and driving at all on snow vehicles.”
Not only will following these two principles greatly improve your chances of a safe ride, they will, with the help of a snowmobile accident lawyer, make it easier to access compensation for the injuries you might incur in an accident.
Other important safety tips for snowmobilers include:
- Plan your route ahead of time, and make sure friends or family know where you’ll be
- Schedule regular communication with someone at home
- Wear a helmet at all times
- Avoid highways, paved public roads, and ploughed road shoulders
- Carry a safety or survival kit
- Understand your driving abilities, and ride within them
- Stick to approved trails
- Ride in a group
For snowmobilers who cross frozen lakes, understanding ice thickness is crucial to safety. It is important to realize that ice doesn’t freeze uniformly on most bodies of water, especially at the beginning of the season. When possible check conditions with local ice fishermen or hut operators before attempting to venture onto a lake. If this isn’t an option, know that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry advises that at least 20 centimetres of blue ice is required to safely snowmobile on; the thickness must be twice that if the ice is white or opaque.
Contact a Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers snowmobile accident lawyer
Unfortunately, several serious snowmobile injuries have already occurred in Ontario in 2017. A woman was killed on a trail near Sudbury on January 2, and a man is presumed dead after falling through ice on Stoney Lake, northeast of Peterborough, on January 11.
If you or someone you love has suffered a serious snowmobiling injury, contact a snowmobile accident lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today. Our team can help you understand the steps you must take to access compensation.
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