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Safe Snowmobiling

 Road Safety and Motor Vehicle Regulation
Transport Canada
 Road Safety Fact Sheet
TP 2436 RS 2000-01
January 2000, revised 2006

Snowmobiling is a sport enjoying immense popularity. There are currently over 700,000 registered snowmobiles in Canada and over 161,000 km of snowmobile trails.

With the much publicized and largely preventable snowmobile incidents of the last few years, Transport Canada reminds all snowmobile enthusiasts that they have it in their power to make snowmobiling safe and enjoyable. Follow the safety tips at the end of this article!

The Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO) believes that there is a link between raising safety awareness among snowmobilers and decreased fatalities in recent years: Between 1994 and 1999, when the CCSO began actively promoting safe snowmobiling, fatalities fell by 2% – from 96 to 94 deaths, despite the increased numbers of snowmobile enthusiasts. In the same five-year period, CCSO membership increased by 40%.
Snowmobilers are encouraged to belong to a recognized Snowmobile Club.

Snowmobilers should also follow these common sense snowmobiling safety tips to ensure a safe and happy snowmobiling season:



Before you set out:

  • Inform others of your destination and estimated arrival time.
  • Inspect your snowmobile for mechanical integrity.
  • Wear suitable clothing to prevent hypothermia – remember that children are particularly susceptible to the cold.
  • Carry first aid and survival kits.
  • Check local avalanche conditions in avalanche-prone areas; there is a web site for this at

On the trail:

  • Ride within your capabilities.
  • Use snowmobile trails whenever and wherever practical.
  • Stay on the right side of the trail.
  • Reduce speed in unfamiliar territory.
  • Exercise care when crossing roadways and railway tracks.

At night:

  • Slow down! Your headlight limits how far ahead you can see. The slower you are travelling, the less distance you need to stop.
  • Avoid driving along road shoulders where lights from either snowmobiles or vehicles can cause confusion.

Over lakes and rivers:

  • Be aware of ice conditions and, if in doubt, check with local authorities or your local club.
  • Wear flotation-type clothing.

Remember also to treat the outdoors with respect and be considerate of wildlife!


  • Never drive a snowmobile if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs. "Don’t drink and drive" applies to snowmobiles as to any motor vehicle.
  • Never ride on railway tracks.
  • Never ride alone.
  • Never leave children unsupervised with "kiddie" snowmobiles.
  • Never leave young children alone in cutters.
  • Never travel with babies.

Remember, safety is everyone’s business!

For further information or to offer any comments, contact:

Transport Canada
Road Safety Directorate
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street,
Tower C, Place de Ville
OTTAWA, Ontario K1A 0N5

Tel: 1-800-333-0371 (Toll-free) 1-613-998-8616 (Ottawa region)
Fax: 1-613-998-4831

Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO)
Telephone: 1-514-252-3002
Fax: 1-514-252-0361

International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA)