Last season the Maine Warden Service responded to 85 personal injury accident involving snowmobiles, which resulted in 9 deaths in Maine. Here are some tips to help you have safe snowmobiling rides this season.

According to the Maine Warden Service, numbers are down compared to 2002-2003 when there were 16 deaths in the Pine Tree State.

Therefore, they would like for everyone to be vigilant in having safety as a priority while enjoying the 200 billion dollars a year sport.

The Presque Isle Fire Department has helpful tips to assist everyone who takes part in the winter activity, as they ride upon the many trails in New England.

Here are some safety tips for you and your family before hitting the trails.

  • Check The Weather Forecast - Some say it's too cold to ride, while others can tolerate it. You can check your weather forecast here.
  • Wear correct clothes and protective gear.
  • Inspect Your Machine - Even if you do good preventive maintenance, it's always good to have your snowmobile checked out before you head out each season.
  • Pack Before You Leave - Whether you're planning a short trip or a long trip, you should always pack survival items, should you need them. Some items to consider are matches, extra batteries, flashlight, heat pads, cell phone and first aid kit.
  • Ice Crossing - It doesn't matter if you think it's safe or not, always cross a waterway unless you are sure it's frozen over. Especially if we have experienced warmer and cooler days. There are snowmobile jackets that have floatation devices built into them and will activate once contacted with waters.
  • Stay On Marked Trails - This tip is two-fold. For one, it's safer and the other is that we want to respect all landowners wishes to only ride where they have authorized us to do so. Remember - Riding on private property is a privilege, not a right.
  • Don't Drink and Drive - This seems to be a problem every year and the payoff can be deadly. Please slow down and don't drink and drive. You, your family and others on the trail want a safe trip and leaving alcohol out of the picture will help to make that possible.

The Presque Isle Fire Department would like to wish everyone a safe and happy snowmobile season.

Should you have any questions or concerns, you may contact the fire department at 207-769-0881.

Happy Sledding!