Snowmobile Fact Sheet

2007-2008 Snowmobile Season:

  • Registrations: Number of registrants up this year; due to ongoing online and counter registrations, no number is available at this time.
  • Accidents: At least three.
  • Fatalities: None.

2006-2007 Snowmobile Season:

  • Registrations: 91,733
  • Accidents: 172
  • Injuries: 155
  • Fatalities: 6. Helmets were worn by four of the victims; alcohol was not a factor in three of the deaths. One victim was hit by an SUV user who had consumed alcohol. Helmet and alcohol use was unknown in two of the deaths.
  • Drownings: 1
  • OUIs: 18

2005-2006 Snowmobile Season:

  • Registrations: 75,235
  • Accidents: 117
  • Injuries: 92
  • Fatalities: 7. Helmets were worn by all of the victims; alcohol was not a factor in five of the deaths. Alcohol use was unknown in two of the deaths.
  • OUIs: 17

Historical Facts:

  • Most Registrations: 107,285 in 2002-2003 season.
  • Most Accidents and Injuries: 428 with 330 injuries in 2000-2001 season. (96,921 registered sleds.)
  • Injuries: 330 in 2000-2001 season.
  • Highest Number of Fatalities: 16 in 2002-2003 season.
  • Highest Number of Drownings: 4 in 1983-1984 season.
  • Most OUIs: 38 in 2000-2001 season.

Clubs:

  • More than 285 Maine Snowmobile Association member clubs statewide.

Safety Tips:

  • Be Aware Of Conditions - Early season ice conditions remain questionable. Snowfall can insulate thin ice and slow the freezing process. Snow levels may vary on the trails. Objects may be covered or barely hidden. Ride accordingly.
  • Stay off roads and on trails - Early in the season, it is tempting to ride on roadways. Don’t do it. It is illegal and it puts both snowmobilers and automobile drivers in danger.
  • Ride At A Reasonable Speed - Speed limits are determined by existing conditions. If you can't control your sled safely at the speed you are going, you are going too fast. You are not only threatening your safety, but the safety of others around you. Slow down.
  • Use Hand Signals - The use of a simple set of hand signals on the trails keeps traffic orderly and predictable. These signals inform other sledders of your actions. Know them and use them.
  • Ride Defensively - You can do everything right, but still encounter a rider who is doing everything wrong. By riding defensively, you will be prepared to respond and avoid a dangerous situation.
  • Ride to the Right - Just like driving a car. It is required by law that a snowmobiler operate to the right of center on the trail when approaching or navigating a curve, corner, grade or hill. Stay to the right, even on straight-aways.
  • Ride Sober - Don't drink and ride. Don't let anyone else in your group drink and ride.

Safety Course CD:

The “Ride Right, Ride Smart” safety CD is available by mail for $5 from the Maine Snowmobile Association, P.O. Box 80, Augusta, ME 04332. Cost covers mailing, with additional proceeds to be used for future safety promotion and educational projects. The safety CD is also available for free at IF&W and MSA.

Classes:

IF&W-sponsored Snowmobile Safety courses are offered in all 16 counties throughout Maine. Classes are posted online as soon as they become available. Participation in a snowmobile education course is voluntary. It does teach riders how to properly operate and maintain a snowmobile, self-help First Aid, environmental and landowner ethics, as well as cover laws, responsibilities and personal safety tips.

Maine Snowmobile Association snowmobile clubs offer an abbreviated course using a video and course book (The “Ride Right - Ride Smart” course). The “Ride Right - Ride Smart” course also is available as a PDF on the association’s web site.