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SAFETY RESOURCES

A directory of state and national avalanche and snowmobile safety education providers, along with the most comprehensive collection of online and downloadable snowmobile safety education resources and training materials you’ll find anywhere.

Safety Education and Training Best Practices

Best practice examples for snowmobile safety training and education from across the country are showcased in this library. Best management examples and suggestions for snowmobile trail management and snowmobile access related topics are also provided.

Materials presented in the Safety Resources section of this website are examples of some of the best snowmobile safety education materials available. Additional best practice examples include:

North Slope Trailer Project (2005 Recreational Trails Program Award winner)

This RTP project provides a first-of-its-kind outdoor ethics and safety education "onsite" where the activities happen, as the trailer is used as a contact point, display, and mini-classroom. The trailer is also used at schools, dealer events, workshops, land manager sessions, outdoor expositions, parades, trailheads and shows to reach hard-to-contact users and all other concerned public.
www.americantrails.org/awards/CRT05awards/northslope.html

Western Wyoming Avalanche Education Project (2004 Recreational Trails Program Award winner)

The first three phases of this RTP project expanded the existing daily forecast produced by the Bridger-Teton NF Avalanche Center for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski area to also include data from sites heavily used by snowmobilers and other backcountry recreationists away from the ski area. The project added data collection sites in the Togwotee, Brooks Lake and Lava Mountain areas of the Continental Divide region, as well as in the Grey's River area of the Wyoming Range. Also of importance, the sites in the Continental Divide region focused on obtaining data from both the east and west sides of the Continental Divide, since wind and weather patterns can vary substantially on each side of it.
www.americantrails.org/awards/CRT04awards/WWyoAvalanche.html

Coalition of Recreational Trail Users Educational Trailer (2010 Recreational Trails Program Award winner)

The Coalition of Recreational Trail Users (CRTU) is a nonprofit organization formed by a partnership of Minnesota’s motorized recreational trail user communities composed of the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota, the Amateur Riders Motorcycle Association, the Minnesota 4 Wheel Drive Association, and the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association. This coalition recognized the need to educate the motorized trails communities, as well as the general public, regarding safe and responsible motorized recreation. CRTU developed a plan for an education and outreach trailer to be stocked with information on rules, regulations, safety and the state associations, as well as maps and youth safety training CDs. This RTP project has been instrumental in providing education to summer and winter motorized trail users.
www.americantrails.org/awards/CRT10awards/MN-Trail-Educational-Trailer-CRT-award.html

Avalanche Education Providers

National

  • Avalanche.org provides online avalanche education, information, resources and links to avalanche centers worldwide.
  • Forest Service National Avalanche Center provides online avalanche education and links to all Forest Service avalanche centers and resources.
  • Backcountry Ascender is a free, fun and simple backcountry and avalanche educational application. This engaging and competitive program consists of industry and peer approved curriculum of self-directed lessons and required in-person courses.

  • The following local Avalanche Centers provide avalanche safety information; most also provide training.

    Alaska

    Arizona

    California

    Colorado

    Idaho

    Montana

    Oregon

    Utah

    Washington

    Wyoming

    Snowmobile Safety Education Providers

    National

    State

    The following state agencies and organizations provide snowmobile safety information or training.

    Alaska

    Colorado

    Idaho

    Illinois

    Indiana

    Iowa

    Maine

    Michigan

    Minnesota

    Montana

    New Hampshire

    New Mexico

    New York

    North Dakota

    Ohio

    Oregon

    Pennsylvania

    South Dakota

    Utah

    Vermont

    Washington

    Wisconsin

    Wyoming

    Snowmobile Safety Education Resources

    Downloadable and online snowmobile safety information and education materials are available from the following organizations:

    National

    • ACSA

      snowmobilers.org has developed the following snowmobile safety education materials:
      • Safe Riders Safety Awareness Program—visit this online program to learn about basic snowmobiling safety. It provides detailed information covering: how to prepare for your ride, general safety, proper riding apparel and techniques, general snowmobiling rules and laws, parts on your snowmobile, basic snowmobile maintenance, how to prepare for emergencies, and dangers you should avoid. There are short quizzes at the end of each section to test your knowledge.
      • Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

        As the temperature drops and the snowy weather starts to drift in upon us, our winter enthusiasts are readying their gear for another season of sledding. We are excited to announce the completion of new Public Service Announcements, which are designed to promote quality judgment and safe operation of snowmobiles in the coming months.

        We encourage all organizations to utilize these important consumer messages in an effort to spread public awareness and encourage care and caution while enjoying what is sure to be a thrilling winter season. Together we can save lives.
        • “It’s Simple. Slow Down. Think. Don’t Drink and Ride.”

          (30 second television spot): Reminds riders that weather conditions, terrain, and impaired judgment from alcohol can endanger even the most experienced of snowmobilers.
        • "Don't Drink and Ride."

          (30 second radio spot): Reminds riders that alcohol consumption lowers cognitive functions such as vision, balance and reaction time, which are imperative to the operation of a snowmobile.
        • "Speed Kills"

          (30 second radio spot): Reminds riders that no matter how familiar the trail, or how thrilling the experience, excessive speed can severely reduce your control and limit your ability to react to unforeseen obstacles.
        Sponsored by ACSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation FHWA, these television and radio spots are available for download through the ACSA & ISMA websites.
    • Safety Education Materials Tool Kit

      This tool kit of snowmobile safety education materials was developed by ACSA to bring further awareness of safe snowmobiling practices. Funding was providedU.S. Department of Transportation—FHWA Logo by the Recreational Trails Program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation—FHWA to help develop materials available in this tool kit. A wide range of materials are provided in recognition of the varying local priorities across the snowbelt. The tool kit features downloadable 8 1/2" x 11" posters that provide snowmobile clubs, associations and individuals a choice of materials to help address their local priorities and issues. Quarter- and half-page ads (for both newspaper and magazine format publications) that feature the poster series are also available by contacting the ACSA office. The poster and ad series address the following issues: (click on the title to view)
      Special Instructions
      Poster Printing: For best results, the 8 1/2" x 11" posters should be printed on 65# or heavier white card stock. Check to ensure the printer is set to 'letter' size, that orientation is 'portrait' to match vertical poster design or 'landscape' to match horizontal poster design, and that the page scaling is set to 'Fit to Printable Area.' Also be aware that colors will be more vivid if the poster is printed directly from an electronic file versus making color copies of a poster.
      Alcohol Use
      Many snowmobile crashes occur because of alcohol consumption. Alcohol use is also a leading cause of snowmobiling related fatalities. Alcohol and drugs negatively affect the body by affecting the driver's vision, equilibrium or balance and coordination, and reaction time. Help encourage snowmobile operators to make responsible choices by promoting that they refrain from consuming alcohol before and during all snowmobile outings.
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text 'Snowmobiling and Alcohol Don't Mix, Ride Sober'
      'Snowmobiling and Alcohol Don't Mix, Ride Sober'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Have Fun on Your Run, But Don't Drink Till You're Done'
      ‘Have Fun on Your Run, But Don't Drink Till You're Done'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text 'Have Fun on Your Run, But Don't Drink Till You're Done'
      'Have Fun on Your Run, But Don't Drink Till You're Done'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Drink Alcohol Before We Fly? Don't Be Stupid'
      ‘Drink Alcohol Before We Fly? Don't Be Stupid'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Drink Alcohol Before We Ride? Don't Be Stupid'
      ‘Drink Alcohol Before We Ride? Don't Be Stupid'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Drinking and Riding Puts Your Family at Risk. Don't Do It'
      ‘Drinking and Riding Puts Your Family at Risk. Don't Do It'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text 'Drinking and Riding Puts Your Family at Risk. Don't Do It'
      'Drinking and Riding Puts Your Family at Risk. Don't Do It'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Have Fun on Your Run, But Don't Drink Till You're Done'
      ‘Have Fun on Your Run, But Don't Drink Till You're Done'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text 'Have Fun on Your Run, But Don't Drink Till You're Done'
      'Have Fun on Your Run, But Don't Drink Till You're Done'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Don't Become A Statistic. You Drink. You Ride. You Lose'
      ‘Don't Become A Statistic. You Drink. You Ride. You Lose'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text 'Don't Become A Statistic. You Drink. You Ride. You Lose'
      'Don't Become A Statistic. You Drink. You Ride. You Lose'
      Speed and Careless Operation
      Speed is another major factor in many snowmobile crashes. Help encourage snowmobile operators to always keep the speed of their snowmobiles slow enough to ensure they are in control and operating safely.
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Keep Right. Ride Single File. Anticipate On-Coming Traffic'
      ‘Keep Right. Ride Single File. Anticipate On-Coming Traffic'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Keep Right. Ride Single File. Anticipate On-Coming Traffic'
      ‘Keep Right. Ride Single File. Anticipate On-Coming Traffic'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Ride Safe, So You Can Ride Again'
      ‘Ride Safe, So You Can Ride Again'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Speed Blurs Your Vision. Slow Down. Stay In Control'
      ‘Speed Blurs Your Vision. Slow Down. Stay In Control'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Speed Blurs Your Vision. Slow Down. Stay In Control'
      ‘Speed Blurs Your Vision. Slow Down. Stay In Control'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Speed Hurts. Slow Down. Stay In Control'
      ‘Speed Hurts. Slow Down. Stay In Control'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Speed Hurts. Slow Down On Trails. Stay In Control'
      ‘Speed Hurts. Slow Down On Trails. Stay In Control'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Speed Kills. Slow Down. Come Back Alive'
      ‘Speed Kills. Slow Down. Come Back Alive'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Racing Is For the Track, Not the Trails'
      ‘Racing Is For the Track, Not the Trails'
      Speed and Alcohol
      When speed and alcohol use are combined, the results can be deadly. The following materials combine messages to help address these two top issues together; help encourage riders to beware of this deadly combination.
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Make Good Choices. Slow Down. Ride Sober'
      ‘Make Good Choices. Slow Down. Ride Sober'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Make Good Choices. Slow Down. Ride Sober'
      ‘Make Good Choices. Slow Down. Ride Sober'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Speed + Alcohol = All Jacked Up'
      ‘Speed + Alcohol = All Jacked Up'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Speed + Alcohol = All Jacked Up'
      ‘Speed + Alcohol = All Jacked Up'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Ride Focused. Stay Sober. Pay Attention'
      ‘Ride Focused. Stay Sober. Pay Attention'
      Night Riding
      Riding at night requires extra precautions. It is important to ride at slower speeds and to use caution to not override snowmobiles' headlights. Headlights generally illuminate the path about 200-feet in front of snowmobiles—so if you're driving faster than 45 to 50 mph you're likely starting to exceed the area illuminated by headlights before you can react and stop safely. Help encourage snowmobile operators to slow down at night and to be aware they can quickly override snowmobiles' headlights.
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Ride Over 45 MPH at Night. You're Likely Over Riding Your Lights'
      ‘Ride Over 45 MPH at Night. You're Likely Over Riding Your Lights'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Ride Over 45 MPH at Night. You're Likely Over Riding Your Lights'
      ‘Ride Over 45 MPH at Night. You're Likely Over Riding Your Lights'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Don't Over Ride Your Headlights. They Only Shine 200 Feet'
      ‘Don't Over Ride Your Headlights. They Only Shine 200 Feet'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Don't Over Ride Your Headlights. They Only Shine 200 Feet'
      ‘Don't Over Ride Your Headlights. They Only Shine 200 Feet'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Dangers Lurk In The Night. Slow Down. Pay Attention'
      ‘Dangers Lurk In The Night. Slow Down. Pay Attention'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Dangers Lurk In The Night. Slow Down. Pay Attention'
      ‘Dangers Lurk In The Night. Slow Down. Pay Attention'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Slow Down at Night. Expect the Unexpected'
      ‘Slow Down at Night. Expect the Unexpected'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Slow Down at Night. Expect the Unexpected'
      ‘Slow Down at Night. Expect the Unexpected'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Slow Down at Night. Beware of Fences'
      ‘Slow Down at Night. Beware of Fences'
      Roadways
      Many snowmobile trails are located alongside roadways and sometimes cross over them. Always be aware of vehicles on the roadway, drive defensively, and come to a complete stop at all posted stop signs, as well as at unmarked road crossings. Help educate snowmobile operators to the numerous hazards they may encounter when operating along roadways, particularly within the borrow ditch.
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Stay Off Closed Roads. Sleds and Vehicles Don't Mix. Obey Closures and Stay Safe.'
      ‘Stay Off Closed Roads. Sleds and Vehicles Don't Mix. Obey Closures and Stay Safe.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Cross With Care. Stop. Stand Up. Look Both Ways.'
      ‘Cross With Care. Stop. Stand Up. Look Both Ways.'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Use Caution on Open Roads. Keep Right. Ride Single File. Reduce Speed.'
      ‘Use Caution on Open Roads. Keep Right. Ride Single File. Reduce Speed.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Use Caution on Open Roads. Keep Right. Ride Single File. Reduce Speed.'
      ‘Use Caution on Open Roads. Keep Right. Ride Single File. Reduce Speed.'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Don't Become Road Kill. Stop. Look. Live.'
      ‘Don't Become Road Kill. Stop. Look. Live.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Don't Become Road Kill. Stop. Look. Live.'
      ‘Don't Become Road Kill. Stop. Look. Live.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Ride Safe in the Ditch. Watch for Culverts and Traffic.'
      ‘Ride Safe in the Ditch. Watch for Culverts and Traffic.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Ride Safe in the Ditch. Keep Away From Fences.'
      ‘Ride Safe in the Ditch. Keep Away From Fences.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Ride Safe in the Ditch. Beware of Guy Wires.'
      ‘Ride Safe in the Ditch. Beware of Guy Wires.'
      Youth Riders
      Youth are important to the future of snowmobiling, so it is important that extra precautions be taken to ensure they have safe outings that are also enjoyable so they develop a desire to continue snowmobiling as they get older. Help ensure youth operators receive proper training and that adults use appropriate precautions when riding with kids.
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Don't Use Kids as Airbags. Keep Them Safe-Put Them on the Back'
      ‘Don't Use Kids as Airbags. Keep Them Safe-Put Them on the Back'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Don't Use Kids as Airbags. Keep Them Safe-Put Them on the Back'
      ‘Don't Use Kids as Airbags. Keep Them Safe-Put Them on the Back'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Kids Need Helmets That Fit. Keep Them Safe. Make it Fun.'
      ‘Kids Need Helmets That Fit. Keep Them Safe. Make it Fun.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Kids Need Helmets That Fit. Keep Them Safe. Make it Fun.'
      ‘Kids Need Helmets That Fit. Keep Them Safe. Make it Fun.'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Put Kids on Sleds That Fit. Smaller Engines and Sled Size. Must be Able to Steer and Control.'
      ‘Put Kids on Sleds That Fit. Smaller Engines and Sled Size. Must be Able to Steer and Control.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Put Kids on Sleds That Fit. Smaller Engines and Sled Size. Must be Able to Steer and Control.'
      ‘Put Kids on Sleds That Fit. Smaller Engines and Sled Size. Must be Able to Steer and Control.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Kids Need Sleds That Fit. If it's Too Big for Them to Control. Don't Put Them on it.'
      ‘Kids Need Sleds That Fit. If it's Too Big for Them to Control. Don't Put Them on it.'
      Horizontal Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Slow Down When Riding With Kids. Keep Them Safe. Make it Fun.'
      ‘Slow Down When Riding With Kids. Keep Them Safe. Make it Fun.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Slow Down With All Kids. Just Because Older Kids are Keeping up, Doesn't Mean They're Safe or Having Fun.'
      ‘Slow Down With All Kids. Just Because Older Kids are Keeping up, Doesn't Mean They're Safe or Having Fun.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Slow Down When Riding With Kids. Keep Them Safe. Make it Fun.'
      ‘Slow Down When Riding With Kids. Keep Them Safe. Make it Fun.'
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘Youth Operators Need Safety Training. Keep Them Safe. Get Them Trained.'
      ‘Youth Operators Need Safety Training. Keep Them Safe. Get Them Trained.'
      Avalanche
      Avalanches that involve people do not randomly occur. Over 90 percent of the time, the victims or someone in their group triggers the snow slide. This means that avalanches could generally be avoided if snowmobilers would learn to follow avalanche safety procedures. Help ensure that snowmobilers who ride in avalanche terrain learn simple things that can help save lives.
      Vertical Poster of Snowmobilers and text ‘One at a Time on the Slopes. Respect the Red Zone. It Could Save Your Life.'
      ‘One at a Time on the Slopes. Respect the Red Zone. It Could Save Your Life.'
      Knowledge Is Powder Video For Snowmobilers—This 9-minute avalanche safety video for snowmobilers was developed by the Utah Avalanche Center with major funding support from the ACSA, the ISMA, the U.S. Department of Transportation—FHWA and other partners including state snowmobile associations. It focuses on 5 key avalanche safety points:
      • Get the gear.
      • Get the training.
      • Get the forecast.
      • Get the picture.
      • Get out of harm’s way.
    • Drive Safe Poster Drunk driving is drunk driving—no matter what you drive!
    • Snowmobiling Hand Signals —Learn and promote the use of hand signals to increase safety on trails
      Hand signals poster.
      Hand signals clipart.
    • Snowmobiler’s Code of Ethics—adopt this code for safe and responsible snowmobile operation.
    • "Become a member of your state snowmobile association" videos—These 30 and 60 second TV PSAs promotes club and association membership; club members generally become safer and more responsible riders. Please use these videos for membership recruitment. Link from your site.

  • Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO)
    Safe Riding is Great Riding pocket guide ccso-ccom.ca provides the following snowmobile safety information:
    • Avalanche Awareness—Safety tips that could save your life when snowmobiling in avalanche country.
    • Ice Thickness—Recommended minimum ice thickness; no ice is without some risk, so minimize your risk!
    • Zero Tolerance—Take the pledge to make smart choices; don’t drink alcohol until the sled is parked for the day!
  • International Association of Snowmobile Administrators (IASA)
    snowiasa.org has developed the following snowmobile safety education materials:
  • ISMA
    snowmobile.org provides the following snowmobile safety information and materials:
    • Snowmobiling Safety—Tips about how to be a safe and responsible snowmobile rideradable Safe Riders! posters plus 6 coloring posters promoting safe and responsible snowmobile operation.
    • Safe Riders! Posters and Line Art—18 downlo" >PSA Radio Spots and Logos—8 downloadable public service announcement radio spots plus 30 public service announcement posters and logos promoting safe and responsible snowmobile operation.
    • Avalanche Safety Awareness Guidelines—checklist to help promote avalanche safety awareness.
    • Safe Riders! You Make Snowmobiling Safe
      This instructional video educates snowmobilers about the basics of snowmobile safety. It is the product of the Safe Riders! campaign initiated by ISMA and the four snowmobile manufacturers: Arctic Cat, Bombardier Recreational Products(Ski-Doo), Polaris Industries , and Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA. This video is a great supplement to a snowmobile safety course and is used by many safety instructors.
  • Operation Lifesaver
    www.oli.org provides railroad safety education.
  • Tread Lightly!
    www.treadlightly.org provides the following snowmobile safety and ethics/responsible use education materials:
    • Tips for Responsible Snowmobiling—Tips about traveling responsibly, respecting the rights of others, educating yourself, avoiding sensitive areas, and how to do your part to be a responsible snowmobile rider.
    • Guide to Responsible Snowmobiling—This booklet will help you prepare for an enjoyable outdoor experience on a snowmobile, and at the same time, help you to be a responsible, positive influence on nature and those around you.
    • Education Trunk: Pack Your Pack Snowmobile — Educational exercise questions challenging students to identify items they should have in their pack to be prepared when snowmobiling'You’re on the Wrong Track' poster.
    • "Play Nice" poster—encourages riders to share the snow with others and respect wildlife.
    • "Ride Hard" poster—encourages riders to tread lightly by riding only in designated areas.
    • Snowmobile banner ad downloadable banner encouraging travel only on adequate snow cover.
  • University of California, Merced—Sierra Nevada Research Institute
    UC-Merced provides a Health and Safety Plan—Winter Backcountry Travel Snowmobile Safety designed for use by the USDA Forest Service; it targets travel and communication protocols, equipment and safe practices.
  • Alaska

    Iowa

    Wisconsin