Snowmobile crashes happen every winter, some resulting in serious injuries to riders, passengers, and bystanders. Snowmobiles or “snow sleds” are classified as off-road vehicles that can quickly reach speeds between 100mph and 200 mph. As expected with any recreational sport that involves high speed, snowmobiling has its risks.
Riding snowmobile is a hugely popular winter recreational sport in Wisconsin. There are more than 25,000 groomed snowmobile trails all across the state. Most of these trials marked with reflective safety crossing and traffic signs similar to what vehicles use on the roads. There are those who ride as part of a snowmobile clubs, and others who ride their ski machine solo.
Snowmobiles have headlamps, a seat and windshield similar to motorcycles, but are equipped with skis and powerful engines to handle the snow-covered terrain. But, just like any recreational sport that involves high speed, snowmobiling has risks as well.
Serious snow sled accidents
Serious snow sled accidents can involve injuries of the head, back, neck, limbs, or even result in death. Here are some common factors that are often associated with these tragic events:
- High speed. Driving a sled too fast risks injury to yourself and others including passenger on your sled, and others who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In addition, speed can lead to collisions between two or more snowmobiles, and or rolling the sled.
- Alcohol consumption. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol impair judgement. Drunk or impaired snowmobile riders are a danger to themselves and others.
- Night rides. When driving a snowmobile at night, vision is limited. In these conditions, collisions with fixed objects or people, and losing sight of the marked trial are more likely. The WI DNR reports that most fatal snowmobile accidents happen between 8:00pm and 3:00am.
- Frigid weather. Especially when combined with fatigue, night riding, alcohol, or riding near lakes or rivers; cold weather can quickly lead to frostbite or hypothermia.
- Operator Inexperience. In Wisconsin, it is recommended for snowmobile operators to complete a safety course. (If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1985, you are required to complete one.)
- Inattentive driving. Where there are snowmobiles, there are often people walking or standing. Running over or striking someone with enough force can prove fatal. During the winter months, extra caution should be taken while crossing a road traveled by other vehicles.
Get compensation for injuries resulting from a snowmobile accident.
Every winter in Wisconsin people are injured in snowmobile accidents. Sadly, a good number of the most severe snowmobile accidents involve children. If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt due to the negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries, pain, suffering and lost wages. Or, if you have been injured because the snowmobile you were riding was somehow defective, you may be entitled to damages. Find out if you have a potential lawsuit by contacting an Action Law snowmobile attorney for your free case evaluation. Simply submit this quick free initial case evaluation. No fee unless we succeed on your claim. We are available for home and hospital visits.
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