Colorado’s location in the Rocky Mountains makes it a hugely popular destination for winter sports, including snowmobiling. Snowmobiling offers people an opportunity to experience the Colorado outdoors in an exhilarating and exciting way. With proper training and safe riding, snowmobiling allows Colorado residents and visitors to experience all of Colorado’s scenic beauty in the winter. Unfortunately, snowmobiling can be dangerous, especially when riders are inexperienced, driving recklessly, or are driving under the influence.
How Can Snowmobiles Be Unsafe?
Snowmobiles, or motorized sleds, have two steering skis in the front, but actually move on a tread much like a tank does. If there isn’t enough snow underneath it, if it’s taken over thin ice, or if it’s taken over uneven terrain, there can be accidents. Snowmobiles may be ridden at night, but it creates a risk hazard if they are.
Snowmobiling can also be dangerous where there are hazards hidden by the snow, such as rocks or branches, holes, or the false appearance of densely packed snow when there’s really just a drift. Other times, snowmobiles can be involved in collisions with cars and other snowmobiles when they’re used on roads or trails. Snowmobiles also have no enclosed spaces and no seat belts, leaving the rider exposed to the elements. There’s no speed limit for snowmobiles, either. Many who take snowmobiles out also may not recognize a potential avalanche or know how to avoid triggering one.
Thus, snowmobile accidents can result in catastrophic injuries and even death. Injuries include broken bones, knee and back injuries, spinal cord trauma, traumatic brain injuries, frostbite, and crush injuries resulting from the rider being pinned between the snowmobile and the ground.
However, aside from registering the vehicle and putting a muffler on it, there are no other regulations for snowmobiles in Colorado, which means no mandatory insurance, either.
Who’s at Fault for Snowmobile Injuries?
There could be numerous parties at fault. In a collision with another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle could be at fault for negligent or careless driving. The park may have failed to warn about potential dangers of snowmobiling in certain areas. Snowmobile manufacturers may be liable for design flaws or manufacturing defects that cause the snowmobile to malfunction. A snowmobiler could also, unfortunately, cross paths with a hunter or a hunter’s bullet or arrow on what was thought to be a safe snowmobile trail. It could be a combination of some or all of these factors.
What Should You Do If You’re in a Snowmobile Accident?
The first thing you should do is seek medical attention or seek help and/or shelter if possible, especially if you’re outside. Second, you should get any information you can about the other driver and the other vehicle. You may not be able to make a claim against a snowmobile insurer, but you could have one against the other driver’s homeowner’s insurance.
Our snowmobile accident attorneys have handled cases involving serious and catastrophic injuries and know what must be done to prove your right to the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a snowmobile, our lawyers are here to help. Call us at 303-393-6666 to speak with an attorney.
 2 CCR §402-a.
 CBS Local. Backcountry Adventurers Work Against Clock To Save Snowmobiler.
 Colorado Parks and Wildlife. CHAPTER P-4 – SNOWMOBILE REGULATIONS INDEX. http://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/RulesRegs/Regulations/ChP04.pdf.
 supra, note 1.