Driving a snowmobile requires the same attention and alertness that driving any other kind of vehicle does. You must have complete control of your reflexes. If you are a beginner, practise until you can handle the basic driving skills.
Learn how to control your balance on turns by using your weight to control your movements and leaning in the direction you want to turn. Position your body on the snowmobile in a way that will give you the most comfort and control for the conditions in which you are driving. On level ground, sit or kneel with both knees on the seat. On uneven or bumpy ground, stand on the running boards with your knees slightly bent.
Always take the time to plan your route before you ride and make sure others in your group know the route as well. If you must stop on the trail, always select a location where you will be visible and pull over to the right as far as possible. If you are riding in a group, you should park the snowmobiles in single file and leave the vehicles running so you are visible at night.
On hard-packed snow or ice, reduce your speed, because stops and turns are harder to make and you will require greater distance to complete them. When your snowmobile is trapped in deep snow, remember to turn off the motor before you try to get it out of the snow.
Every time you travel on ice, you are risking your safety and that of your passenger. Watch out for pressure cracks that are much more difficult to spot at night. If you are in an unfamiliar area, ask local authorities or residents about the ice conditions, inlets, outlets, springs, fast-moving current or other hazards. Listen to local radio broadcast warnings by the Ontario Provincial Police about ice conditions. If you must drive over frozen lakes or rivers, you should consider using a buoyant snowmobile suit. It might save your life.
Whenever you are driving, always watch for trails and highway, signs and obey them. Always remain on the right-hand side of the trail when riding and exercise caution on hills and curves. You should always be prepared for the unexpected. Exercise caution at road and rail crossings. Trucks and trains often kick up large clouds of snow that greatly reduce visibility. Carry a cell phone with you when riding.