Key Points of This Article:
- Snowmobile accidents are a common occurrence in Saginaw and Michigan.
- Speeding is one of the number one causes of snowmobile accidents.
- A Michigan personal injury attorney can help you or a loved one get the compensation needed after a snowmobile accident.
Everyone knows that Saginaw and Michigan is among the top destinations in the U.S. for enjoying winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and snowmobiling. However, while these winter weather sports are considered family-friendly activities that anyone can enjoy, they can also be quite dangerous.
Snowmobiling is especially hazardous and can lead to severe accidents and injuries. Studies show that every year, nearly 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries are reported as a result of snowmobile accidents.
Just recently, a 33-year-old man was fatally injured while operating his snowmobile on a trail in Upper Peninsula’s Au Train Township. Reports say that he lost control of the snowmobile while trying to navigate a curve at high speeds and was ejected and thrown into a tree. Another fatal incident also occurred in January when a 43-year-old man crashed his snowmobile in Negaunee, Michigan. State troopers were called to Trail 8 near Riley Road where the man was also believed to have been speeding around a curve when he was thrown from the mobile and hit a tree.
If you or a loved one are injured or killed in a snowmobile accident, contact the experts at The Lee Steinberg Law Firm. We have experience representing clients across Michigan and are dedicated to helping injured victims and their loved ones fight for their rights and get the compensation and benefits they deserve under the law.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Snowmobile Accidents in Michigan?
Like a car accident, there are various factors that can contribute to an incident. However, with snowmobiles, some of the most common reasons we see accidents in Michigan are:
- Speeding: As reported in the incidents above, speeding is a common factor in snowmobile accidents. Generally, riders are not strapped into a snowmobile and can easily be thrown off when traveling at high speeds while navigating dangerous curves and terrain.
- Inexperience: Everyone loves to come to Michigan and enjoy the snow, but unfortunately, many will hop on a snowmobile and take off without ever having had any previous experience or training. This might work out fine if you go slow and navigate easy terrain, but one wrong move in certain circumstances can result in severe accidents and injuries.
- Mishandling: There are a variety of snowmobiles on the market, meaning performance and handling can vary. We often see accidents in Michigan as a result of improper use and mishandling from riders who are used to another type of snowmobile.
- Lack of safety gear: Many people assume that because they are riding in snow, they will have a soft landing if they fall and thus don’t require safety gear. Unfortunately, this common misconception is what leads to severe injuries and death. Snow is not always soft, and there are many other places you could land or objects you could hit when ejected from a snowmobile. Helmets, gloves, and other winter protection are essential when riding to help protect you from injury.
- Intoxication: Of course, drunk driving is not limited to vehicle operation on a road. Many individuals drink while out enjoying winter sports, and, unfortunately, intoxication is a common occurrence while operating snowmobiles in Michigan. This kind of negligent behavior can easily contribute to serious incidents and have fatal results.
Snowmobile Safety Tips to Avoid Getting Into an Accident
While Michigan does have regulations surrounding the use of snowmobiles, safety training and gear are often not required. However, it’s important to gain some experience and training before putting yourself in dangerous situations.
To avoid getting into an accident, the following safety tips are suggested:
- Stay on top of snowmobile maintenance.
- Always wear a helmet, boots, gloves, and other protective winter clothing.
- Maintain safe speeds, especially when navigating curves.
- Never ride alone.
- Avoid riding across frozen bodies of water.
- Do not drink and operate a snowmobile.
- Understand how to properly handle the snowmobile before use.
- Stay alert and focused while riding and keep an eye out for hazards and depressions in the snow.
- Use headlights and taillights at all times.
- Only follow marked trails.
- Come to a complete stop and thoroughly check for oncoming traffic when crossing roads.
Who is Liable for Snowmobile Accidents?
Generally, snowmobile accidents operate under the same theories of negligence as automobile accidents. When proving fault in a snowmobile accident to receive compensation, you must provide evidence that someone owed someone else a “duty of care” and their breach of that duty led to the accident and injuries.
Proving liability in such cases can be difficult, but it is not impossible. The Michigan Supreme Court is actually looking into officially designating snowmobiles as motor vehicles under Michigan Law, which could open up new avenues for who can be held liable, such as municipalities and other government agencies.
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm: Helping Victims of Snowmobile Accidents in Michigan
If you or a loved one have been injured in a snowmobile accident, the team at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm can help you get the benefits you deserve. Our attorneys have over 40 years of experience handling accident cases, including those involving snowmobiles. We know what it takes to prove fault and win your case.
Call our personal injury lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) to speak with an experienced attorney. Our consultations are free and confidential, and you’ll pay nothing until we settle your personal injury case.