Late November and Early December brought ideal snowmobiling conditions to much of upstate New York, as a thick blanket of snow drew hundreds of thrill-seekers to the area. Many New Yorkers watch the forecasts expectantly as winter comes on, waiting for the chance to pull their snowmobiles out of storage, check it over, and log some miles.
As with any motor vehicle activity, there will always be some risk associated with snowmobiling, but much of the risk can be mitigated through proper upkeep on the vehicle, never mixing drugs or alcohol and driving, and managing your speed. Unfortunately, you cannot guarantee that others will do the same.
Many trails in the North Country opened on December 3rd, making the weekend of December 7-9 the first opportunity for many riders. Unfortunately, this first weekend of the year was marred by three deaths. Trails were icy, which may have been a significant contributing factor, but full investigations are needed to determine whether unsafe behavior by other drivers played a role.
The snowmobiling season has just begun, and there is no doubt that many more accidents will occur. Many more people will be injured and some people will be killed, often due to the dangerous choices made by others. Though a snowmobile driver cannot prevent others from speeding or drinking, they can make the choice to leave the area, even if it means passing on the opportunity to enjoy one of their favorite pastimes. But even the most responsible person may happen upon a drunk driver, or a person going too fast, even if they scout the areas ahead of time.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a snowmobile accident, determining whether or not the person responsible for the accident was under the influence is important, as is evaluating whether unsafe speeds or turning played a role. Please consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case.