An Auburn personal injury attorney said this week that a string of recent snowmobile accidents on Maine trails underscores the need for snowmobile riders to put safety first.
\”Snowmobiles are fun to ride, but they\’re not toys. These are heavy, high-powered vehicles, and if they are driven recklessly, an enjoyable day on the trails can quickly turn to tragedy,\” said attorney Stephen B. Wade of the Maine personal injury law firm of Skelton, Taintor & Abbott.
\”Snowmobile enthusiasts need to put safety first. Take a safety course and sharpen your safety skills, and above all, use common sense when you are on the trails,\” Wade said. \”Always wear a helmet. Don\’t drink and ride. And never speed when the conditions impact your ability to see others on the trail.\”
Among the snowmobile crashes reported by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in recent weeks are: The death of a 39-year-old man who crashed into a snowmobile on a trail near Eustis at a time when blowing snow and wind had reduced visibility. Critical injuries to two men in a collision that occurred after one went back on the route to check on the other\’s status. A witness told a game warden that he believed at least one of the snowmobilers was speeding. Two people – neither wearing a helmet – who were critically injured near Casco when they lost control of the snowmobile. According to a news release, the driver received a summons for operating under the influence and refusing a blood alcohol test.
Maine has a system of more than 13,500 miles of snowmobile trails, and each year, nearly 100,000 people register snowmobiles in the state.
However, heavy snowmobile use has also led to a high accident rate. There has been average of 152 snowmobile accidents, including seven fatalities, during the last two years, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.