The abundance of snow the region has received this winter has certainly been well received by those who enjoy snowsports, including snowmobile enthusiast who are enjoying some of the best trail conditions in years.
The well-groomed trails that crisscross the Upper Peninsula are hosting scores of snowmobilers, which also bodes well for the many local businesses that make a good share of their income over the winter.
Along with the good, though, comes the not so good, which is when machine operators have an accident. These can range from a simple mishap to a tragic major crash.
In an effort to help snowmobilers operate their machines in a safe, enjoyable manner, one of the main insurers of snowmobiles recently released a list of tips for them to follow.
Kevin Henry, senior product manager at Foremost Insurance Group of downstate Caledonia, said many snowmobile accidents result from a lack of safety knowledge - thus the reason for offering tips to riders.
They are mainly based on common sense and many snowmobilers may find them basic safety suggestions, but even veteran operators can benefit from a little reminder course on the subject.
Included in tips are:
- Be aware of the trail and weather conditions and check forecasts before you head out.
- Use proper signals to indicate your intentions to other riders around you.
- Be prepared.
- Don't drink and drive.
- Don't ride alone.
- Dress properly.
- Know snowmobile laws and regulations.
- Be sure you have proper insurance coverage.
- Maintain your snowmobile.
- Tread lightly and respect nature.
These suggestions are explained further at the Foremost Insurance Group's website at www.Foremost.com.
In addition, newcomers to the sport of snowmobiling can receive safety tips from machine dealers and some of the snowmobile clubs that are scattered across the peninsula, which can help make their rides through the snow-covered forests of the U.P. an enjoyable experience - both for themselves and other users of the trails.