A Deadly Season for Ontario Snowmobilers

Although we wrote about snowmobile safety a few weeks ago, in light of a recent report from the Ontario Provincial Police, it’s a topic worth reemphasizing.

Earlier this week, the OPP released a report on fatal snowmobile incidents to date for the 2016-2017 season. The numbers are shocking: fatalities have more than doubled this season compared to last. Among the 20 deceased are two youths, ages 11 and 16 years old.

The OPP notes that the same dangerous driver behaviours are consistently responsible for the fatal accidents. Here are the factors involved:

  • Collisions with trees, rocks, snowbanks, vehicles or other snowmobiles (12 of 20 fatalities)
  • Speeding/loss of control (9 of 20 fatalities)
  • Encountering open water/falling through ice (4 of 4 fatalities)
  • Driver inattention (4 of 20 fatalities)
  • Hypothermia/no emergency supplies (1 of 20 fatalities)

These factors are equally dangerous to any rider, but the statistics show that men in their 50s and 60s represent three quarters of fatally injury snowmobilers this season.

Spring is on its way, and that presents new risks to snowmobilers. With waterways now thawing in many parts of Ontario, the OPP urges all snowmobilers to be vigilant and stay off lakes and rivers.

To make sure your planned route is safe, always check trail status/conditions using the OFSC website before you head out.

Please, don’t take chances, and don’t become a snowmobile statistic.