Snowmobile Accidents: Causes and Statistics

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) monitors snowmobile crashes each year, including all of those that result in fatalities or injuries that require medical treatment by a physician. DNR statistics show that there has been a slight decrease over the last ten years in the number of fatalities per 100,000 registered snowmobiles. However, this trend may be due to increases in the overall number of registered snowmobiles.

During the winter of 2015-16, there are were nine fatalities stemming from snowmobile accidents. That amounts to 4.5 fatalities per 100,000 registered snowmobiles. Over the past ten years, there was a high of 10.9 fatalities per 100,000 registered snowmobiles in 2006-2007, or 26 fatalities, a number which consistently decreased over the years until hitting another peak of 9. 7 fatalities per 100,000 registered snowmobiles in 2013-2014, which included 23 fatalities. The total number of registered snowmobiles has fluctuated slightly over the last ten years, with 202,429 registrations in 2015-16.

Although 74% of the snowmobile operators involved in fatal snowmobile accidents had over 100 hours of snowmobile operation experience, 89% of the operators were not snowmobile safety certified, meaning that they had not completed a Wisconsin snowmobile safety course. Furthermore, 100% of the snowmobile operators were wearing helmets at the time of the fatal accident, but six out of the nine fatal accidents in 2015-16 involved alcohol. Four of the nine fatalities occurred on a public trail, and six of the fatalities occurred when the snowmobile collided with a fixed object. Eight out of the nine fatalities occurred on weekends, and six of the fatalities occurred after 6:00 p.m.

The experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to help you through the aftermath of any type of vehicle crash, including dealing with the insurance companies involved and ensuring that they follow all of the necessary rules and regulations. We can look into the circumstances surrounding your accident, assess the situation, and evaluate any claims that you may have for damages. We know how to determine fault in motor vehicles accidents, and build a strong personal injury claim based on that determination. Contact our office today in order to schedule a free initial consultation about any potential claim that you may have.


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