Sadly there are too many snowmobile accidents in Rhode Island. Snowmobiles are engineered to travel on either snow or ice. Most seat two people on a centered single seat with the driver in front and any passengers in line behind the driver. They accelerate rapidly, and they’re surprisingly maneuverable. Their propulsion is provided by an engine and a tracking system from about the middle of the snowmobile to its rear. Two skis are at the front that are used for turning. Today’s snowmobile can weigh over 600 pounds and travel at speeds up to 100 miles per hour.
Given the fact that the snowmobile season lasts about three to four months, the number of annual snowmobile accidents and deaths are frighteningly high. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are about 14,000 injuries and 200 deaths per year from snowmobile accidents.
Snowmobilers are exposed to injury. There’s no steel body surrounding them, and there aren’t any seat belts or air bags to protect them. Most snowmobile crashes in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations result in injuries. The leading causes of snowmobile accidents in RI are set forth in this post.
Excessive speed causing snowmobile accident in RI
This is the leading cause of death in snowmobile accidents. A modified snowmobile can hit speeds around 150 miles per hour. Higher speeds make it increasingly difficult to maneuver or stop snowmobiles. That’s why most snowmobile accidents in Rhode Island involve fixed objects like trees or telephone poles. Survivors often suffer traumatic brain injury (tbi) and spinal cord injuries along with very serious fractures.
“According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Robert Kaye of Afton, Minnesota, was riding a snowmobile in Gordon, Wisconsin, on Saturday evening when it went off the path and crashed into trees. The sheriff’s office says members of his snowmobiling group discovered the crash when Kaye failed to arrive at a checkpoint” CBS
Alcohol leading to snowmobile accident
Coupling speed with alcohol can be catastrophic. Along with impairing judgment and coordination, alcohol significantly contributes to hypothermia if an accident occurs. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the speed and alcohol combination was suspected in 65 percent of the Wisconsin snowmobile fatalities in 2014.
Snowmobiling at night
Vision is limited at night, especially at high speeds with only one headlight. Most snowmobile accidents occur between 8:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. Combine speed, alcohol and decreased visibility, and snowmobiling after sundown can become increasingly dangerous.
Snowmobiling on frozen bodies of water, particularly on rivers can be quite dangerous as ice conditions can change in a matter of a few hours. Ice can break, or snowmobiles can even be driven into open water. Note that buoyant snowmobile suits are available.
When you’re traveling on a snowmobile, don’t drink, avoid excessive speeds, slow down at night, and avoid traveling on lakes and rivers. Stay alert and safe, and be sure to be on the look out for other snowmobilers. If you are injured in a snowmobile accident in Rhode Island , please contact a RI personal injury lawyer who is also a Rhode Island snowmobile accident attorney.
A RI snowmobile accident lawyer will help you get the compensation that you deserve. Snowmobile accident attorneys in RI are more effective then the garden variety whiplash car crash lawyers because they have experience in complex snowmobile collisions and crashes.