Safety on the sled - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Safety on the sled

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As fun as snowmobiling is, it can be just as dangerous.

"The horsepower difference is about three times the stuff from about 15 to 20 years ago was about 50 horsepower and the snowmobiles they have now is 150 horsepower. So there's quite a bit more power in the newer sleds." Said Devin Deleeuw with Power Brokers, Inc.

He said snowmobiles are built better these days, but you still need to learn how to drive it.

"It's a great sport to be in, there's classes offered through the state. Safety classes you can take that are a greater reduction just on the basics of snowmobiling as far as handling and such like that." He said.

Even with classes, wearing the right equipment is key.

"Proper gear is the big thing, make sure you have your helmet and eye protection, your clothing to keep you safe and keep you warm." Said Deleeuw.

Some sleds have a tether that connects to the rider.

If that connection is cut for any reason, the engine stops.

"Ski-Doo's, in particular, that's part of their key system for it. It is something that you could add to other snowmobiles as well. Other companies don't have tethers on it so if you do fall off it will cut the motor. But, it is something that a service dept or a mechanic could put on there for you." He continued.

Deleeuw added the most important thing to pay attention to, is something you may not be able to see

"The stuff that's sitting underneath the snow, possibly only a half-inch under like a rock or a stump or even a fence post or something like that is something that could kick the snowmobile throw the rider off or cause an accident." Deleeuw said.

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