Douglas V. Stoehr, Attorney at Law
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A recent online article, which can be accessed by clicking this link, talks about The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association's (ISMA) global campaign to raise awareness for snowmobile safety and training.  According to the publication, different countries' laws governing snowmobile operation are extremely variable, and there are generally fewer regulations for snowmobile operation than for other, similar vehicles like ATVs.

Most fatal snowmobile accidents occur when excessive speed and/or alcohol consumption play a role.  Not only does alcohol impair judgment and inhibit responses, it can also lead to hypothermia.  Night driving is also a particular hazard, and some reports estimate that most fatal accidents occur between the hours of 8PM and 3AM.  Interestingly, many snowmobile accidents also result in drowning.  When children are involved in fatal accidents, the majority of deaths tend to result head and spine injuries from impact against an object, such as a tree or wall.

The online article also offered several easy and practical snowmobile safety tips, several of which can be found below:

 

  • Wear warm, water repellant clothes with a windproof outer layer.  Don't forget gloves and goggles.
  • Tell others of your estimated time of arrival and let them know your route.
  • Always ride with someone else--don't travel alone.
  • Carry a first aid and safety kit.  A tool kit, flashlight, maps, and flares may be useful.
  • Be alert to potential avalanche concerns.  If you live in an avalanche-prone area, consider traveling with ice picks and poles to help you out in the case of an emergency.
  • If you go through the ice on your snowmobile, a special snowmobile suit may help you stay afloat for a short period of time.  Pull yourself onto the ice and roll away from the hole!  Keep your mittens/gloves on during this time, even though they are wet.

 

Off-road vehicles, such as snowmobiles and ATVs, are potentially dangerous vehicles for many of our state's youth.  Improper ATV use is leading cause of serious injury among Pennsylvanians.   Attorney Doug Stoehr of Altoona, PA handles cases involving injury as a result of accidents involving off-road vehicles.  For more information about Attorney Doug Stoehr and his central Pennsylvania practice, please call his law firm at 814-946-4100. 

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