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Throwback Thursday: Snowmobile Safety and Accident Prevention

This blog post, originally highlighted on our website several years ago, bears repeating as we enjoy winter sports outside. Please take a minute and review this article, which can be found below, to make sure your snowmobiling practices are as safe as possible!

An 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. 

Brush Up On Your ATV Safety For Fall!

Planning on riding on an all-terrain vehicle this fall? Are you sure that you're current on all the best practices for safety standards?  If you're unsure, it may be time to brush up on your facts! The website ATVSafety.org offers a variety of extremely helpful resources for you, your family, and friends.  They even have an online course so you can make sure you're fit and educated before you hit the road! You need to make sure you're safe and prepared before riding to avoid injuring yourself or others.   It should be noted that, within the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, all-terrain vehicles need to be registered with the Department of Transportation.  A license is not required for drivers of these vehicles. There are no clear laws pertaining to the registration of dirt bikes. 


ATVs, dirt bikes, and other off-road vehicles (such as snowmobiles) are also a leading cause of serious injury among Pennsylvanians, especially among our state's youth. 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 Blair county area practice, please visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com or call his law firm at 814-946-4100.

Amazing Snowmobile Rescue Story Makes National News

How amazing and resourceful kids can be!! Our firm just read the most exciting article about a son who rescued his father from a potentially deadly snowmobile accident.  While out riding in the Lake Tahoe backcountry, a father was in a serious snowmobile accident while out with his young son.  In an effort to save his father, the boy got on his snowmobile and navigated his way out of the park to find help.  To read more about this amazing true story from Reader's Digest, please click here.

Snowmobiling is a very common winter sport in the United States, especially in our part of rural Pennsylvania.    It is an enjoyable way to get outside in cold weather and can be a way for families to spend time together. As stated on SnowMobile.org, "Historically individuals who snowmobile at a young age continue to snowmobile with their parents throughout their lives, sharing great experiences as a family. In many winter regions, snowmobiling is simply the main form of winter outdoor recreation and in some cases the main method of transportation available."
However, off-road vehicles, such as snowmobiles, are also a significant 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 Blair county area practice, please visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com or call his law firm at 814-946-4100.

How To Avoid ATV & Snowmobile Fatalities

Are you being safe when you ride your ATV this fall? Hopefully, if you plan to ride your snowmobile this winter, you will keep safety in mind as well.  Over the Thanksgiving weekend, an unnamed victim lost his life while riding his all-terrain vehicle.  Near Pittsburgh, in Beaver County, an ATV driver passed away after he drove his vehicle off a trail and into a pond.  The site of the crash was in an old mining area, where the victim was not with the rest of the group of riders that he had started off with.  Unfortunately, he was trapped under the vehicle for an extended period of time before the emergency response teams could get him out.  Our sympathies go out to the victim and his/her family.

So, how can we avoid accidents such as this? Here are a few tips that may help you out:

  • Avoid driving alone! If you start out with other riders, stick with those other riders.  
  • Always go out with your cell phone fully charged and let others know your riding route and when you plan to be home.
  • Stick to designated trails and riding areas.
  • Avoid riding at night and during periods of poor visibility. 
  • Wear bright colors when possible--bright orange, green, and yellow are good choices.

Many Pennsylvanians enjoy using ATVs and snowmobiles nearly year-round.  However, these off-road vehicles 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.

Pittsburgh-Area Boy Suffers Severe Brain Injury After ATV Accident

Recently, the Titusville Herald covered the story of a local boy who suffered a severe brain injury after a ATV accident.  The teen, who was riding an ATV on the side of a steep grade and tried to turn it around, was thrown from the vehicle.  Although his injuries were not immediately clear, physicians at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh soon diagnosed him with a severe, traumatic brain injury.  Doctors had to temporarily remove his frontal bone in order to account for the teen's significant brain swelling. Cognitively, the 13-year-old is now acting about the age of a typical five-year-old. He uses a wheelchair, and is participating in physical therapy three times a week in Pittsburgh.  Titusville is strongly supporting this young man's recovery, and is holding a benefit at the town fire department to raise money for him. 
Many Pennsylvanians enjoy using ATVs and dirtbikes during our warmer months of spring and summer.  However, these off-road vehicles 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.

Dirtbiking Accident in Philly Area Led To Injury Io One, Death To Another

As we enjoy this spring weather, please remember that some motorized outdoor activities carry a higher risk!  A recent report by 6ABC.com posted that one such activity, dirtbiking, lead to the death of one rider and serious injury of another in Philadelphia PA.  The riders were both in their late teens.  According to the report, the two bikes crashed into each other head on, and one driver had his head turned as the accident occurred, so he did see the other bike approaching.  It appears that these bikes were not being used for their intended purpose, and were being used in a more urban environment.  Dirt bikes and other similar vehicles, such as ATVs, are not meant to be used on city streets and carry a much higher risk when used inappropriately.   Even when used properly, dirt bikes, ATVs, and other related vehicles can very dangerous when not used properly and/or while not following all safety precautions.  Please heed all state laws and use common sense when operating one of these vehicles this spring and summer.
Many Pennsylvanians enjoy using ATVs and dirtbikes during our warmer months of spring and summer.  However, these off-road vehicles 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.

ATV Crash Near Pittsburgh, One Teen Dead

Unfortunately, reports of another ATV-related accident have surfaced in Petrolia, PA.  According to a Lancaster-area news source, a teenager was recently driving an ATV that caused a crash, and another teenage passenger who was on board during the ride died.  The driver could now potentially face charges, along with another participant who moved the all-terrain vehicle from the site of the crash.  The accident occurred in a rural area about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, PA.  
Police who have been investigating the accident believed that alcohol may have played a factor in the crash, since the driver abandoned the scene.  Additionally, the ATV was totaled, and a friend who was following the driver and his friend in a truck helped the driver remove the ATV from the scene.  At this time, our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim and everyone else who was involved in the accident.  
ATVs, dirt bikes, and other off-road vehicles (such as snowmobiles) are a leading cause of serious injury among Pennsylvanians, especially among our state's youth.   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 Blair county area practice, please visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com or call his law firm at 814-946-4100.

Be Cautious When Snowmobiling on State Game Lands

Pennsylvanians who enjoy our great outdoors on game lands will likely be required to have a permit in the future.  As the result of a proposal put forth to the Pennsylvania Game Commission's board, anyone who wants to hike, ride a bicycle, horseback ride, or snowmobile on state game lands will need to either buy a hunting license or get a free permit.  Proponents of the permitting process say that the permits will work as a way to collect data on the use of land by non-hunters, and will provide a means to help maintain game lands. 

 

Prior to this proposal, the general public has been largely welcome on game lands, even though the Commission pays to maintain it.  Some people feel that non-hunters who use the land, such as those who snowmobile, sometimes damage land, cause landscape changes (such as erosion), and also danger the natural wildlife without contributing to maintenance costs.  There are state rules that prohibit biking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling on state game lands from the last Saturday in September to the third Saturday in January, as well as the last Saturday in April to the last Saturday in May.  These time periods are the hunting periods for small animals, deer, bear, and turkey.  Non-hunters holding the appropriate permits could use authorized trails on Sunday, when hunting is not allowed. 

 

Many Pennsylvanians enjoy using snowmobiles on game lands during our winter months.  However, 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.

Snowmobile Accidents On the East Coast

Recently, several snowmobile accidents have shown up in the news across states along the east coast.  One accident, which occurred in New Hampshire near Boston, Massachusetts, involved a father and son.  According to the news article from CBS Local in Boston, a father of three was out riding a snowmobile with his nine-year-old son when the throttle of his snowmobile got stuck.  The snowmobile hit a rock, and the father and son threw themselves off of the vehicle as it went airborne.  The son survived, but the father unfortunately did not.  The snowmobile landed in a nearby creek after flying over 70 feet into the air.  The son, whose only injury was a broken leg, was grateful to his father for saving his life by throwing him into a pile of powdery snow, which broke his fall.  

 

Another such accident occurred closer to home in Windsor Township, PA.  According to local news reports, an adult male was driving a snowmobile while intoxicated and hit a tree.  He did not survive the accident.  It is important and sobering to remember that snowmobile fatalities not only end the life of the victim, but they drastically and permanently damage the lives of the family and friends they leave behind. Please use proper safety precautions when driving or as a passenger on a snowmobile to do your best to avoid accidents and injury.  

 

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. 

Snowmobile Accident Prevention!

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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