With the number of fatal snowmobile accidents last winter down significantly, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Trails Program Specialist Ray Paige urges snowmobile riders to continue taking a cautious approach to the sport.
"Two years ago, the tragic deaths of 13 snowmobile riders motivated many riders to make safety a priority," Paige said. "We’re seeing the benefit of this increased caution and that is good." Nine of the 2001-2002 winter season's fatalities occurred as the result of avalanches.
"Today everyone in the snowmobile riding community is working together to encourage riders to be aware of safety measures and, most importantly, to put them into practice," Paige said.
Safety tips include:
* Carry an avalanche probe, beacon and shovel,
* Keep your machine well maintained and serviced regularly,
* Always check local weather conditions,
* Avoid riding in areas prone to avalanches,
* Always dress appropriately and bring adequate survival supplies,
* Slow down when night riding,
* Cross roads with care,
* Avoid riding alone.