Snowmobiles are not just used by mountain patrol employees; they are also used for recreational activity. Any snowmobile that meets regulations can be driven at a state park as long as it possesses current registration. Although many people enjoy the fun of snowmobiles, they also tend to cause a lot of accidents. Almost anyone can operate one, but when the proper safety measures are not taken that is when injuries happen. Snowmobiles can cause injury to the people riding them, other snowmobile riders and in many cases cause injury to pedestrians skiing and snowboarding.
If you wish to operate a snowmobile, the vehicle must be outfitted with a red tail lamp, a fluorescent flag and a white headlamp. The state also requires that all snowmobiles possess a muffler in good working order and brakes that can control he vehicle in any circumstance. If a snowmobile driver has failed to meet these standards and you are injured as a result, then you are entitled to file a personal injury claim against them. In some instances, a mechanical failure will cause the snowmobile to malfunction and cause injuries. If this is the case, then the manufacturer may be liable for the injuries if the machine was tested and found to have malfunctioned by no cause of the snowmobile's operator.
There are also maximum speed requirements that must be followed, depending on what state you are riding a snowmobile in. For example, in Minnesota the maximum allowed speed is 50mph. If you want to pass another snowmobile on the trail, you must pass on the left just like driving a regular passenger vehicle. Also the same as commercial vehicle laws, if you meet another snowmobile at an intersection you have to let the driver on your right hand side have the right-of-way. Many states require that drivers under the age of 18 wear safety helmets as well, and the helmet must be an approved one. Some states also require riders to obtain safety certificates after completing a training program.
It is also not advised to operate a snowmobile between the hours of sunset and sunrise. In a recent case of snowmobile accidents, a man lost his life after he drove his snowmobile into a tree. The accident took place at around 3 in the morning, when visibility was very minimal. Snowmobiles may be driven during dark hours if they are equipped with a headlamp powerful enough to illuminate 100 feet in front of the vehicle and a back red tail lamp that has a minimum visibility of being seen 500 feet away. There is also the danger of driving a snowmobile while intoxicated. It should go without saying that driving while intoxicated is prohibited, and if an intoxicated driver causes another person injury then they can have a personal injury claim filed against them.