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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

As Winter Lingers, Remember Snowmobile Safety

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The Detroit Free Press recently reported that more than 130 fatal snowmobile accidents with hundreds more seriously injured. Nine snowmobile fatalities have already occurred this season. Excessive speed and alcohol are frequent contributors.

Unlike other Great Lakes states that have reduced snowmobile deaths, Michigan hasn’t set speed limits or lowered the blood-alcohol level at which a snowmobiler is considered drunk. Due to budget cuts, Michigan has also lowered law enforcement in dangerous trail areas.

Michigan does not impose a maximum speed limit for snowmobilers and the threshold for illegal intoxication is 0.10 percent, compared with 0.08 percent for motorists. A Dearborn Heights man said the death of his brother, who smashed into a tree while snowmobiling, serves as a warning. He believes his brother had been drinking and was travelling in excess of 65 mph.

Winter isn’t over yet and neither is the snow. It is never too late to implement these snowmobile tips.

Slow down. Drive at moderate speeds, and drive defensively, especially after sunset.

Carry a first-aid kit. Your first-aid kit should include a flashlight, knife, compass, map, and waterproof matches. Always wear a helmet with goggles or a face shield to prevent injuries.

Dress for the weather. Wear layers of water-repellent clothing and make sure you have no loose ends that might catch in the machine or tangle in equipment.

Stay on marked trails and avoid traveling across bodies of water. Snow cover can act as a blanket and prevents thick strong ice from forming.

Never travel alone. Most snowmobile accidents result in personal injury. The most dangerous situations occur when a person is injured and alone.

Don’t drink. Alcohol is involved in most snowmobiling fatalities. Any amount of alcohol impairs your perception, slows your reaction time and limits your ability to control your snowmobile.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.