Be safe on snowmobiles

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We’ve had editorials on this topic before but it’s always good to issue a reminder: Winter thrills, sometimes, can kill.

In the last couple of weeks, a Rockland County snowmobiler died when his vehicle was hit by another sled in the town of Webb, and a 45-year-old Boonville man was fatally hurt in when his snowmobile struck a tree. These are just the most recent sled-related deaths in our region.

We love our snowmobiles, but there’s no denying that they can be dangerous.

There are a number of elements that are tough to control when riding — hidden rocks, unseen branches, thin ice — but there are some that we can.

Please be extra cautious when you’re riding in unfamiliar areas. Many of us travel to new snowmobile destinations and may be out of our element, or only drive snowmobiles a few times a y ear.

Also watch your speed — law enforcement officers say a large percentage of snowmobile crashes happen when drivers take a corner too fast.

Be at your best behind the steering post, which means limiting drugs and alcohol.

Lastly, expect the unexpected, so prepare for emergencies on the trail, with a First-Aid kit, motor repair kits, failsafe communication, food, water and warmth. Have fun, but be safe.

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