8 | Vermont Association of Snow Travelers Safety energy food, fire starting equipment and a compass. TAKE IT EASY Safe Riders drive within the limits of their machine and their abilities. Remember, speed is not the measure of snowmobiling fun. You should always ride at a speed in which you can stop within your line of sight. Slow down and enjoy the scenery and the experience. Ease up on the throttle when near other machines, people, trees, animals and other objects. TAKE A FRIEND Don’t snowmobile alone. Not only is snowmobiling more fun with family and friends, it’s safer too! FILE A PLAN Airplane pilots and boaters file flight and float plans, respectively, so that others know where to look if they’re overdue. “Snow plans” describing your machine and your planned route can be time- and life-savers. Leave plans only with your family or friends. Like those who file travel plans, always let your family and friends know you’re back or have arrived at your destination. No one likes needless searches. Many things make snowmobiling fun: the breathtaking beauty of snow- filled woods, field or mountain; the precision performance of a well- designed machine; the satisfaction of traversing the winter landscape with friends and family. Yes, snowmobilers savor the winter world, and that calls for extra responsibility. Training, experience and awareness are all traits of the accomplished snowmobiler. You are the “Safe Riders!” You make snowmobiling safe! ALCOHOL & SNOWMOBILING DO NOT MIX! Forget that myth that alcohol warms up a chilled person. It opens the blood vessels and removes the feeling of chill, but it does nothing to increase body heat. Instead, it can increase the risk of hypothermia, a dangerous lowering of the body’s core temperature. Alcohol increases fatigue, fogs your ability to make good decisions, and slows your reaction time. It’s part of a formula for disaster. And don’t forget - Vermont has laws prohibiting the operation of a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol. SAFE CROSSING Be careful when crossing roads of any kind. Come to a complete stop and make absolutely sure no traffic is approaching from any direction. Then cross at a right angle to traffic. DRESS APPROPRIATELY Wear layers of clothing, so that you can add or remove a layer or two to match changing conditions. A windproof outer layer is especially important, as are warm gloves or mitts, boots and a helmet. Make sure your helmet is safety- certified, the right size and in good condition. A visor is essential for clear vision and wind protection and the chin strap should be snug. Proper eye protection is necessary to prevent injury from the sun and flying objects. THINK AHEAD Remember, it’s you, the Safe Rider, that makes snowmobiling safe. Many problems will be avoided by using common sense. Minor problems can be overcome by carrying a useful tool kit, spare parts, flashlight, first-aid kit, and a few survival items such as high TAKE CARE OF THE TRAIL Safe Riders snowmobile to enjoy the outdoors. They treat it with respect. They wait for enough snow cover to protect vegetation. They avoid running over trees and shrubs. They appreciate, but don’t disturb animals or other outdoor users. TAKE THE HONORABLE TRAIL Stay safe and legal within the areas that you are permitted to ride or those for which you’ve obtained permission. Going off-trail and trespassing on private property can lead to trail closures by the gracious landowners who allow us to enjoy the trail on their property. BEWARE OF DARKNESS Low-light and darkness require special care. Slow down and watch for others. Overcast days require extra caution. Don’t over drive your headlights. Ask yourself, “Am I driving slow enough to see an object in time to avoid a collision?” NO ICE IS SAFE ICE! The safest snowmobiling rule is never to cross lakes or rivers. Besides the danger of plunging through the ice, you have far less traction for starting, turning and stopping on ice than on snow. Our mission is to empower generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. So join us. Travel only in areas with adequate snow cover. Be courteous to others you encounter. Leave a good impression. It’s up to you to be an ambassador for your sport and the great outdoors. For more ways to minimize your impact, go to www.treadlightly.org or call 1-800-966-9900 1-800-966-9900. ©2005 Tread Lightly!