Stay safe snowmobiling in the U.P. – Snowmobiling Safety Part 1

With snowmobile season coming into full swing, it’s time to tune up your sleds, ride sober, and stay cautious.

The Michigan DNR urges operators to be safe with their “Ride Right snowmobile safety campaign”. In a video released on their Youtube page, Upper Peninsula Trails coordinator Ron Yesney said quote “As a lead rider, you have to be super cognizant of who you’re riding with. If it’s a group of friends that have a lot of riding experience, you can ride a little bit differently. But if you have novice riders, new riders, young riders or family members that don’t have the experience, there is extra precautions that need to take place.” end quote.

204 snowmobile crashes were reported during the 2022 – 2023 season, including 19 fatalities. 63% involved drugs and alcohol. The DNR advises riders to ride sober, keep a safe speed, and stay on the right side of the trail or roadway; trails have two–way traffic.

Novice riders can be injured or killed due to inexperience. Groups should have a meeting before they hit the trails, create a plan on where they are heading or stopping, and go over safety tips. Keeping an experienced rider at the lead and at the tail is advised to help keep track of the less trained members.

It is recommended that all snowmobile drivers take snowmobile safety courses and education programs. In Michigan, all operators ages 12–16 are required to take a state approved safety course and obtain a snowmobile safety certificate.

For more tips on snowmobile safety, online classes, or to find local safety education classes check out the links below.

Safe ORV and Snowmobile riding: Safe ORV and snowmobile riding (

Snowmobile Safety Certificate: Snowmobile safety certificate (

In person classroom: Snowmobile Safety Education Events (