WORCESTER, Mass., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With over 1.4 million registered snowmobiles in the United States and that number increasing by about five percent annually, snowmobile-related injuries and fatalities continue to grow. With this in mind, The Hanover Insurance Group is offering strategies to help keep snowmobilers safe this winter.
"Snowmobiling has become one of the most popular winter recreational sports," said Mark Desrochers, president, personal lines insurance at The Hanover. "Given the sport's popularity, snowmobile owners should ensure they take the right safety precautions for themselves, their passengers and their equipment."
To help keep you and your passengers safer riding snowmobiles this season, The Hanover recommends the following tips:
Do Not Operate Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol – Alcohol is a leading cause of fatalities on snowmobiles. As with operating any other vehicle, alcohol and drugs negatively impact a driver's senses including reaction time, vision, balance and coordination.
Dress Appropriately – Riders should make sure their helmets are safety-certified, in good condition, and fit properly. In addition, riders should wear goggles or protective eyewear to shield them from the sun and other elements.
Know Your Surroundings – Riding in unfamiliar areas can present a serious danger to snowmobilers. For example, lakes and ponds have the risk of falling through the ice, giving riders less traction for turning or stopping the snowmobile in an emergency. Snowmobile operators should also avoid driving on main roads where visibility and traffic may prove hazardous.
Avoid Using a Cell Phone – Just as with a motor vehicle, texting or talking on a cell phone should be avoided while operating a snowmobile. In addition to the distraction from your surroundings, it prevents the driver from keeping both hands in control of the snowmobile.
Beware of Avalanches – Snowmobilers top the list of those caught and killed in avalanches. Riders should prepare themselves by taking an avalanche training course, be aware of their surroundings when riding in areas with mountains or hills and recognize the signs of a potential avalanche.
Never Ride Alone – It is never safe for snowmobilers to ride alone. If there is an accident or an injury, riders will need a buddy to assist them and call for help.
Snowmobiling should be fun and by following these tips, riders and their passengers can help ensure their safety while doing so.
About The Hanover Founded in 1852, The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG) is proud to be celebrating 160 years of delivering on its promises to its agent partners and their customers. The Hanover offers a wide range of property and casualty products and services to businesses, individuals, and families through a select group of agents and brokers, and is ranked among the top 25 property and casualty companies in the United States.
Based in Worcester, Mass., The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. is the holding company for a group of insurers that includes The Hanover Insurance Company, also based in Worcester, Citizens Insurance Company of America, headquartered in Howell, Michigan, Chaucer Holdings PLC, based in London, and their affiliates. Through Chaucer, the company underwrites business at Lloyd's of London in several major insurance and reinsurance classes, including property, marine and aviation, energy, U.K. motor and casualty. For more information, please visit www.hanover.com.