Snowmobiling is a common hobby in Maine for both residents and tourists. In many cases, it is much more than that: It provides reliable transportation during tough winter weather. With over 13,500 miles of snowmobile trails, winter sport hobbyists like to escape cabin fever by getting out and riding their winter toys. Our Maine personal injury lawyers want to remind enthusiasts that snowmobiles present a substantial threat of serious or fatal injury.
One recent snowmobile accident reported by WABI occurred when a rider flipped his snowmobile while traveling 60 or 70 mph. He was rushed to Maine Medical Center when he suffered a fractured skull, broken vertebrae in his back and neck, fractured left eye socket, and a large gash to his head. He was not wearing a helmet when the accident occurred.
In a separate incident, Bangor Daily News reports a tragic fatality resulted when a snowmobiler came over a ridge and hit a broken-down snowmobile trail groomer. The operator of the broken down vehicle had marked the groomer with three orange caution cones, as well as stretched orange tape attached to poles across the front and back of the broken down machine. The victim was wearing a helmet but was traveling too fast to avoid the fatal accident.
In some cases, a premise liability claim may result from a snowmobile accident. In cases involving vehicles, ATVs or other snowmobiles, a motorist or other rider may be at fault. Snowmobile passengers may also have recourse to file a claim in the even of a serious or fatal Maine snowmobiling accident.
All snowmobile accidents are required by law to be reported to the authorities immediately. For a full list of Maine Snowmobile Laws and Rules, information can be obtained at Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. s
Snowmobile enthusiasts are reminded to familiarize themselves with Maine Snowmobile Laws and use the following safety tips when riding:
-Notify someone before you leave that you are going to go out on trails and what location you will be riding.
-Wear a helmet at all times.
-Maintain a speed conducive to the conditions you are riding in. Speeding reduces the amount of time you have to react to dangerous situations.
-When traveling in groups, maintain a safe distance between you and other snowmobilers.
-Carry a safety kit on your snowmobile which may include items such as a flashlight, extra clothes, bottled water, and small hand shovel.
-Refrain from traveling on frozen bodies of water if at all possible. Ice can crack and lead to a serious injury or hypothermia.
-When traveling alone, only ride on familiar trails. Exploring new areas alone could lead to getting lost and endanger your safety.
-Before leaving, start with a full tank of gas and mechanically make sure your snowmobile is working properly.