Iowa DNR offer snowmobiling safety tips

Iowa News

Every year calls flood into the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for accidents involving snowmobiles.

“We snowmobile in hazardous areas,” said Matt Bruner, a DNR conservation officer.

Bruner wants to remind people to be extra cautious when they choose to go out and ride. There are hidden dangers, even on designated trails.

“We’ve had several instances over the last couple of years where snowmobilers are hitting obstructing or unfortunately having interactions with cars,” said Matt Bruner. 

Some of those instances ending in death. So Iowa DNR Conservation Officer Matt Bruner pleads with snowmobile drivers to be vigilant while operating. 

“A lot of times we are snowmobiling in hazardous areas, a lake, a stream,” Bruner said. 

But even on a designated trail you think might be safe,  there can be a danger too.

“Things like downed trees or there can be pushed snow which can create some uneven terrain,” Bruner said. 

And with all of the thawing and refreezing,  some of the mounds of snow aren’t what they seem.

“They typically would be able to be driven through but up until the point they refreeze so they turn into rock-solid walls.”

Bruner says it is better to be safe than sorry.

“If you see a large snow bank don’t think you can go over it you may just run right into it,” Bruner said.

To enjoy the ride, Bruner says just follow the rules of the road.

“Snowmobilers are required to stop at every road crossing come to a complete stop look both ways and cross at a 90-degree angle.”

Also, wear the correct and recommended gear and you’re all set

“It is pretty smart to wear a helmet especially when you’re operating at fairly high speeds in a cold environment,” Bruner said. 

Officer Bruner says the same rules apply for drinking and driving to snowmobiles as they do cars so operate them responsibly.

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