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Trail Safety 101: How To Stay Safe On Your Arctic Cat

arctic cat dealerEveryone knows September is the unofficial start to fall and you know what that means: it's almost winter.


As we wait eagerly in anticipation for the snow to come, there are a few reminders regarding trail safety you should take to heart. Before hitting the trails, keep these tips in mind when you visit your local Arctic Cat dealer. 


Ditch the ego

Most veteran snowmobilers have the skill to go fast without incurring injury. However, you never know how your environment will change around you as you ride. This is especially important for the start of snowmobiling season: as new riders hit the slopes for the first time, a blind corner could conceal a kid struggling with the brakes. 


You've ridden your Arctic Cat for a long time, but even professionals need to follow the correct safety precautions. 


Ditch the alcohol

You would never drink and drive a car and this rule applies to snowmobiling too. Any Arctic Cat dealer in Michigan likely has a slew of stories about snowmobiling accidents mixing poorly with alcohol. Poor decision making, slower reflexes, and fatigue all stem from alcohol use. On top of that, alcohol opens the blood vessels, making you more susceptible to hypothermia. It can be tempting to ride after a couple beers, but it's best to save the ride for tomorrow. 


Keep the map

Before you go trailblazing, it's essential you get an idea of the trail beforehand. This way, you'll expect those sharper turns before they startle you into a snowbank. You should also keep a map or GPS device handy in case you veer off course. In cold weather, it's best to prepare for the worst. 


Know your hand signals

Arctic Cats can get loud, and that means you'll have to communicate with your hands. While you don't need to hone your sign language skills, you should definitely refresh your memory on turn signals. Most Arctic Cat dealers in Michigan offer a handy pamphlet containing essential information. Read up on your hand signals to keep yourself and the riders around you safe. 


Avoid water

One of the most important snowmobiling rules is to avoid large bodies of water. Deep lakes and ponds can take a long time to freeze over and thinner ice patches can lead to disastrous consequences. Your Arctic Cat dealer will tell you how much each model weighs; it's likely that it's too much for a thin layer of ice. 


Watch for avalanches

This is not common on the beautiful trails in Michigan, but snowmobiling down a mountain comes with the threat of an avalanche. While most avalanche areas are posted or closed, it's essential you engage in special training to ride down mountain slopes. 


There are a number of Arctic Cat Dealers and used boat dealers in Michigan. In fact, the average sale of boats in the U.S. has only increased in the last few years, reaching around $37 billion in 2016 alone. When you're ready to hit the slopes in the next couple of months, visit the best Arctic Cat dealer in Michigan today: Lakeside Motor Sports.