February 11-20, 2017, is “Take a Friend Snowmobiling Campaign.” Increasingly, people are doing just that. Snowmobiling is a sport that has increased in popularity in recent years. In 2016 alone, 56,006 snowmobiles were sold in the U.S., where there are currently more than 1.2 million registered snowmobiles, on record.
Why You Need To Slow Down (Especially at Night)
Let’s say there is something 200 feet ahead. Assuming a normal reaction time of 1.5 seconds, your speed can mean the difference between life and death. At 40 mph, you’ll travel an extra 88 feet before applying the brakes and an extra 70 feet before your sled is able to stop, leaving you about 42 feet “wiggle room” before approaching the hazard. However, if you encountered the same scenario at 50 mph, you’d risk traveling 110 feet before braking and an extra 80 feet before stopping; that doesn’t give you much of a margin for error. Now think of what would happen if you were going 65 mph: You’d likely go 143 feet further before applying the brakes, and then 100 feet more before coming to a complete stop, making it likely that you’d end up colliding with whatever was in your way.
Reasons Drinking & Riding Shouldn’t Mix
We all know drinking and driving a regular motor vehicle is a no-no, but since people think of snowmobiling as a recreational sport, some think it’s okay to drink and ride. Even though snowmobiling can be a fun pastime, it still requires clear vision, good coordination, careful balance, and quick reaction times — all of which are negatively affected by alcohol consumption. In fact, most preventable snowmobile accidents are directly linked to alcohol. Even a few drinks can make a major difference, so just don’t take the risk. (As a side note, drinking isn’t the only thing that can slow your reaction times. Sledding when overtired or when taking some prescription drugs can be just as risky.)
How Not To Bring on an Avalanche
Did you know that the majority of avalanches involving snowmobiles are actually far from random? Most are actually caused by “highmarking,” a practice in which a snowmobile rides up the side of a steep slope. Any slope steeper than 25 degrees can cause an avalanche. Be especially cautious when you see new snowpack and wind loading, and be sure to include a transmission beacon in your snowmobile safety gear, in case of an accidental avalanche.
You should also know that because of the constant motion and vibration of a snowmobile, riding tends to dull your senses, meaning that the longer you ride, the slower your reaction times will become. For that reason, it’s important to take a break every few hours, in order to ensure that you and your fellow riders stay safe out on the trails.
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and personal liability insurance.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or York Marketplace or call us at (717) 764-2024.
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