By Nigel Maxwell
The roar of snowmobiles will echo across Saskatchewan this long weekend, but you may not hear about any accidents.
According to statistics from RCMP, there have been just 13 snowmobile-related collisions reported this year in Saskatchewan. This compares to 35 for all of 2017 and 47 in 2016.
The drop in collisions is certainly a positive sign, but the President of the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association said everyone should consider safety whenever they ride. Chris Brewer said the two biggest factors in snowmobile-related crashes are excessive speed and alcohol, and the two are often mixed.
“What we’re asking people to do is make sure that they don’t drink and ride,” he said. “Wait until the end of the day, hang the keys up to the sleds, then enjoy whatever activities you want.”
In addition to abstaining from alcohol, Brewer said all riders should remember to wear their helmet, and also make sure it is done up right.
“All you have to do is fall on frozen ground and bump your head and you’ve got a concussion,” he said. “Or it could be even worse.”
Brewer said some other good safety policies include carrying a tool kit, having a spare set of spark plugs handy and travelling in pairs. A snowmobile can cover more distance in an hour than a person can walk in a day, he said, so travelling in pairs means riders have a way to get back in an emergency.