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Snowmobile safety

Keep safety in mind as you zoom over snowy terrain

You can enjoy the great outdoors by riding a snowmobile. But remember, this is a powerful machine, so make sure to ride safe, and have the right equipment.

After a nice snowfall, chances are good you'll hear snowmobiles zooming by your place in the country. Folks like to run the machines in the ditches and across fields, and  they are useful on farms, especially to check cattle.

Unfortunately, accidents do happen. Kim Raap is a snowmobiling expert and consultant, and says the hazards depend on where you're riding.

"Road ditches have extra hazards with culverts and all the signs, and utility boxes, and even road debris, so always operate cautiously there," Raap says. "If you're riding in open areas, there's always the danger of hidden rocks and stumps. Certainly the safest place to ride is on a designated snowmobile trail that's been cleared and cleaned and groomed."

Many enthusiasts also like to drive on frozen lakes and rivers, but it's extremely dangerous because it's nearly impossible to know the condition of the ice. 

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