MADISON, Wis. – Following a deadly weekend of snowmobiling, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges the public to be safe while out on the trails.
Since the start of the new year, there have been 10 snowmobile fatalities with one additional pending investigation. There were 13 fatalities in 2021.
While this weekend’s crashes are still under investigation, the overall leading causes of snowmobile fatalities are alcohol, excess speed, driver inexperience and operator error.
“Conditions can change, and what was at first a smooth trail could be hazardous by the end of the day. Take your time and slow down, especially at night,” said Lt. Martin Stone, DNR Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator. “Safety is an important part of the ride. We want everyone who goes out to enjoy this long-standing tradition in Wisconsin to make it back home safely.”
If your adventure includes riding over frozen lakes or ponds, be aware that ice is never 100% safe. Snowmobilers cannot judge ice strength by factors like appearance, age, thickness or temperature, especially when the ice is snow-covered.
Before heading out with friends or family, please review Wisconsin’s snowmobile safety rules and regulations.
Any person who is at least 12-years-old, born on or after Jan. 1, 1985, must have a valid Snowmobile Safety Certificate in order to operate a snowmobile in most areas. Operators must carry the certificate while riding and display it to a law enforcement officer when requested. Visit the DNR Safety Education webpage for details and to locate a class or take an online course.