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This past week, The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a warning due to the increase in snowmobile accidents. This year already 16 people have died. Speed, drinking and distractions have been identified as the cause. Minnesota has seen five.

To combat the problem they are looking at increased penalties for drinking and driving and also greater enforcement of speed limits. Most of all they are calling all riders to slow down.

In order to prevent more of those types of injuries, I pass on the following tips from the Minnesota DNR:

1) Keep in mind that the maximum speed limit is 50 mph.

2) Don’t Drink and ride.

3) Residents born after Dec. 31, 1976 need a valid snowmobile safety certificate.

4) Check the ice at least every 150 feet, especially early in the season or any situation where the thickness varies widely.

5) Slow down, especially at night, over-riding your headlight is another major cause of accidents.

6) Stay off the roadway, shoulder, and slope of state and county highways.

7) Come to a complete stop and look both ways before crossing a public roadway.

8) Never ride alone.

For a copy of DNR’s 2008-2009 Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Laws, Rules and Regulations handbook, call (651) 296-6157.

If you are in a snowmobile accident , it’s important that you get medical help right away. If you have questions, contact an experienced Personal Injury lawyer who has dealt with these type of cases. As always, make sure you talk to someone knowledgeable before you sign off on a claim or give away the rights of your children.

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