Michigan State Police Urge Snowmobile Safety After Multiple Accidents

Snowmobilers are out in full force and with more on the trails, comes an increase in accidents that can often be avoided.

Multiple crashes over the weekend sent several people to the hospital.

Troopers say a woman was making a u-turn on Huffman Lake Rd. in Otsego County when a car hit her.

Her seven-year-old passenger was taken to a Grand Rapids hospital.

Michigan State Police believe drugs were a factor and are seeking charges against her. 

Another snowmobiler stopped his sled on a trail near Indian River because it started smoking.

Poor visibility from the smoke led to a five sled pile-up and three people going to the hospital.

9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Noah Jurik have more details on how to stay safe on your sled. 

With hundreds of miles of trails for snowmobilers to get out and play, Michigan State Police say one of the biggest factors they see in crashes is people going too fast.

"Speed is a major factor that contributes to a lot of our hazards or fatal accidents in this area," Michigan State Police Sgt. Randy Servia said. "Especially at night time, never override your headlights and speed kills." 

Snowmobilers like Sydney Kassuba agree, going too fast can lead to trouble.

"If you’re not comfortable going fast, don’t drive fast," Kassuba said. "You come to roads, the sleds don’t handle very well on the roads, so you have to slow down before you get there."

It’s also important to know the area you’re riding in so you’re prepared for areas of concern.

"Low wires, depressions in snow or frozen bodies of water that you might not be familiar with," Sgt. Servia said.

Things like drinking and snowmobiling or not slowing down around other sleds or cars are not only dangerous for the snowmobiler, but the people around them. 

"You’re looking at them and you’re like are they going to smash into me? " Kassuba said. "You don’t know what’s going on, so try not to ride around those people."

Michigan State Police Sgt. Randy Servia also reminds snowmobilers to tell people where you’re riding and to bring a cell phone.

"I want to come home at the end of the day, but I’d rather have a little bit of fun and also stay safe at the same time," Kassuba said.

Michigan State Police remind snowmobilers to make sure they’re checking the weather before they hit the trails.