Snowmobile Safety Tips
When operating your snowmobile, be sure you are properly dressed for the elements.
Wearing a helmet can prevent a severe head injury. Whenever riding, always wear a helmet that meets or exceeds established safety standards. Approved helmets in the U.S. and Canada bear a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) label.
Approved helmets in Europe, Asia and Oceania bear the ECE 22.05 label. The ECE mark consists of a circle surrounding the letter E, followed by the distinguishing number of the country that has granted special approval. The approval number and serial number will also be displayed on the label.
Do not depend on eyeglasses or sunglasses for eye protection. Whenever riding a snowmobile, always wear shatterproof goggles or use a shatterproof helmet face shield.
The use of approved Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) bearing markings such as VESC 8, V-8, Z87.1 or CE is recommended. Make sure protective eyewear is kept clean.
Be prepared, be warm and be comfortable when riding. Be aware of the weather forecast, especially the windchill, and dress accordingly. Avoid wearing loose clothing or long scarves, which can become entangled in moving parts and cause serious injury.
It’s a good idea to wear layers. By layering clothing, you can stay warm when the temperatures drop and still stay comfortable when temperatures warm up by removing a layer of clothing.
Snowmobiles not equipped with a passenger seat should never carry and passenger; The backrest should never carry a passenger. Snowmobile models designed for only one rider will likely carry a “No Passenger Warning” label. If you are unsure if your vehicle is equipped to carry passengers, consult your Owner’s Manual.
You should not carry a passenger until you have at least two hours of driving experience with your snowmobile. You should never carry more than one passenger.
Before operating with a passenger on an equipped model, perform the suspension adjustments required to accommodate for the weight of the extra rider. Make sure any passenger is tall enough to comfortably and safely reach the grab handles and running boards or footrests.
Make sure both the driver and passenger are wearing appropriate riding gear, including an approved helmet.
Perform the recommended pre-ride inspection as detailed in your Owner’s Manual. Read Snowmobile Pre-Ride Checklist for instruction.
Lock the parking brake when loading a passenger. Always make sure the brake is engaged to ensure the vehicle remains motionless whenever a passenger mounts or dismounts. Unlock the parking brake before operating.
When operating with a passenger, reduce speed and allow extra space for steering and stopping. A passenger reduces your ability to control the vehicle. Ride to the ability of your passenger instead of your own ability. Avoid unexpected or aggressive maneuvers that could cause a passenger to fall from the vehicle.
A passenger should always be seated in the passenger seat with both feet on the running boards or footrests and both hands on the passenger grab handle. The passenger should never hold on to the operator. Never secure a passenger to the vehicle or to the operator with a belt, rope or similar device.
Make sure the passenger understands the importance of “active riding.” When turning or performing maneuvers, a passenger should shift body weight in the same way the driver shifts body weight. For example, the passenger should lean to the inside of a turn along with the driver.
Make sure your passenger has read and understands the instructions and warnings in your Owner’s Manual.
Never remove your hands from the handlebars while operating. Always keep both feet on the running boards or footrests.
Read and understand the instructions and warnings in the Owner’s Manual.
Always remain seated in the passenger seat and facing forward, with hands grasping the passenger hand holds and both feet firmly placed on the running boards or footrests.
Tell the driver to slow down or stop if you are uncomfortable. Do not continue to ride on the vehicle if you cannot comfortably follow all instructions in the Owner’s Manual.
Always use an approved helmet and protective gear when riding.
During turns and maneuvers, shift your body weight in the same way the driver shifts body weight.
Review Snowmobile and Snow Bike Mountain Riding Safety if you plan on operating your snowmobile in mountainous terrain. if you plan on operating your snowmobile in mountainous terrain.
Note: The provided information is a general guideline. For model-specific snowmobile safety information, consult your vehicle’s Owner’s Manual. Polaris owners can access their Owner’s Manual by logging in to RideReady.
To find a dealer near you or learn more about RideReady services, visit the RideReady website. Book a RideReady service appointment here.