The human factor is the cause of most snowmobile deaths.
That is the finding of a ten-year analysis released by the Ontario Provincial Police during Snowmobile Safety Week.
During the past 10 snowmobile seasons (2009-2019), the OPP has investigated 175 snowmobile fatalities throughout the province. Among the findings in the report, excessive speed, loss of control, driving too fast for the conditions and ability impaired by alcohol were listed as the top contributing factors. In fact, alcohol was involved in almost half (45 per cent) of the deaths.
Another compelling fact is that almost half (45 per cent) of the snowmobilers who died were travelling on frozen lakes or rivers at the time of the incident. The circumstances that led to the deaths include intentionally driving onto open water (puddle jumping/water skipping), breaking through the ice and collisions with other snowmobiles and natural landmarks.