Here are some tips that all ATV riders can use to stay safe on Wisconsin's trails:
Speed is a contributing factor in nearly all fatal snowmobiling crashes. Drive at a speed that will give you enough time to react should you need to change speed or direction quickly. Drive at moderate speeds. Drive defensively, especially after sunset.
Be sure whoever you're with has a first-aid kit with a flashlight, knife, compass, map and waterproof matches.
Avoid traveling across lakes, streams and rivers if you aren't sure of the ice thickness or water currents. Rapidly changing weather and moving water in streams and lake inlets also affect the thickness and strength of ice on lakes and ponds. Snow cover can act as a blanket and prevent safe ice from forming.
Dress for the weather.
Always wear a helmet with goggles or a face shield to prevent injuries from twigs and flying debris. Wear layers of water-repellent clothing, and make sure you have no loose ends that might catch in the machine or tangle in equipment.
Stay on the trail
Stay on marked trails or, where allowed, on the right shoulder of the road. Be alert for fences, tree stumps and stretched wire that may be concealed by snow.
Never travel alone
Most snowmobile crashes result in personal injury. The most dangerous situations occur when a person is injured and alone. If you must travel alone, tell someone your destination, planned route and when you will return.
Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Law Enforcement