WISCONSIN — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding snowmobilers to ride responsibly after three people died in snowmobile accidents over the weekend.
The three deaths over the weekend bring the snowmobile accident death total to 17 in the state of Wisconsin.
With snow in the forecast and snow still on the ground, the DNR is reminding riders to sled safely.
According to the DNR, February is often the deadliest month for snowmobilers. In February alone, there have already been nine deaths.
Many of these snowmobiling deaths are caused by alcohol, excess speed, driver inexperience, or operator error.
There have been more deaths so far this year than there were in all of 2019. 16 people died in snowmobile accidents in 2019.
"Safe snowmobiling means you must operate within your specific capabilities, operating at safe following distances when riding with others and use the right speeds for the terrain, daylight or night riding," said DNR Conservation Warden Lt. Martin Stone, administrator for the DNR's Off-Highway Vehicle program. "Wardens and partner law enforcement recreational patrols are on those trails, working to keep the trails safe and fun for all to enjoy. We always ask that people ride responsibly."
The DNR says you should follow these tips to ride responsibly:
- Don't drink and ride
- Slow down
- Carry a first-aid kit and dress appropriately
- Avoid frozen rivers and lakes
- Stay on marked trails
- Never travel alone
- Take a snowmobile safety course