As many people begin to venture outside on vacation, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is reminding everyone to consider seasonal safety tips before enjoying their favorite winter activities.
“People often get caught up in the excitement of the moment and overlook the general winter safety,” said Lt. Tom Wanless of the Recreational Safety, Enforcement and Safety Division of DNR Law Enforcement in a press release. “We would like to send a reminder at the beginning of the season to keep an eye on safety this winter. Dress appropriately for the weather, check the weather forecast before you set off, and if you are snowmobiling, drive soberly and at a safe speed. ”
Regardless of your preferred winter activity, prepare before you leave home by checking, getting dressed, and packing for the weather. The DNR offers the following tips:
• Wear light layers that are easy to add or remove – overheating can occur even in winter;
• Wear the appropriate equipment for your activity, such as a flashlight, rope, ice ax, or ice claw;
• Have spare equipment ready in case something breaks;
• Stay hydrated and well-fed – bring water and snacks;
• Bring a buddy;
• Let others know where you are and how long you will be away and set check-in times;
• Wear a two-way communication device that receives service in remote areas; and
• Take care of your health – if you are not feeling well, don’t go out.
In Michigan, all snowmobilers between the ages of 12 and 16 are required to obtain a Michigan-approved Snowmobile Safety Certificate in order to work without a guardian or to cross a highway or street. Earn your Snowmobile Safety Certificate or purchase a trail permit online at Michigan.gov/Snowmobiling.
DNR’s Ride Right snowmobile safety campaign highlights the importance of driving soberly, at a safe speed, and on the right side of the path. Speed is the main factor in snowmobile accidents with fatal and serious injuries. There were 12 fatal accidents in the 2020/21 snowmobile season.
If you plan to be near ice, always use extreme caution as there is no reliable way to test ice thickness.
For more ice safety tips, including what to do if you fall through the ice, visit Michigan.gov/IceSafety.