Snowmobiles: Make Sure Your Kids Know How To Ride Safely
Snowmobiles can be a necessary winter tool for tending to your property or getting around, or they can be a fun tool for an family weekend outdoors. Regardless of how you use your snowmobiles, safety should always remain your number one priority. This is especially true when children are part of the activity.
Follow the Law
Although snowmobiles are fun, they aren't a toy. Just like a car, many states require snowmobile operators to be a certain age. For example, in Minnesota operators must be over the age of 16 and they must have a valid certification on their ID or driver's license from a snowmobile safety course. Even if a safety course isn't required in your state, it's still a good idea to insist that your teens take a course. Some states may also have rules governing the age of the passengers, so young children may not even be allowed on the vehicle.
Practice the Buddy System
Tweens and teens that are legally able to drive a snowmobile purchased at a shop like Alaska Cycle Center Ltd on their own still shouldn't be allowed to wander off on their own. Just like any outdoor activity, the buddy system is paramount for safety. Partner up kids with adults when possible, or at least pair off the kids. This way, there is always someone available to call for help if an accident does occur.
Protect the Soft Spots
Make sure your kids know that they can only be on the snowmobile if they are wearing the proper head and eye protection. There is no excuse for skipping the safety equipment.
Monitor Your Child's Ability
You need to make sure your child is in complete control of the snowmobile and confident in their skills before you let them ride alone. Ride double with your child for awhile first, so you can make sure they have the strength to control the machine and that they can maintain control at all times.
Perform Safety Checks and Reminders
Your snowmobiles need a thorough inspection before each use, and it's a good idea to teach your children what to look for – even if they aren't quite old enough to ride on their own. Instilling a sense of safety early will help make them a safer driver later. Remind your older children to stay on trails, to keep their speed down, and to always follow the snowmobile in front of them at a safe distance. Showing off isn't cool, it's dangerous.