Snowmobile Safety: Beating the Odds (Brad Stafford)
Published on Thursday, January 16, 2014 in News & Updates, Safety
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We’ve all heard the phrase “Beating the Odds.” Maybe it was as you watched the underdog sports team “Beat the Odds” and win a championship. Or maybe someone you know has battled an illness and they “Beat the Odds” and made a full recovery. Some would say it was just luck, perhaps it was, but I believe it was more. I believe part of their success came from that team practicing and preparing for that game, and that person sought out the best medical help, as they all took the right steps to help themselves to “Beat the Odds.”

In some way or another we all try to beat the odds and we should take the steps to be on the right side of them. I looked up some quick facts about random odds. The odds that a person will get hit by lightning are 1 in about 600,000. That means that for every 600,000 lightning strikes one person gets hit. To beat those odds during the storm, stay indoors, stay away from tall objects and don’t wave your 6-iron over your head while in the fairway.

How about getting hurt while operating a chainsaw, 1 in 5,000. That means for every 5,000 times someone operates a chainsaw, someone will get hurt. To beat the odds, use proper safety equipment, don’t push your limits and don’t let the neighbor convince you to take down that tree after the neighborhood BBQ.

The odds that you will be audited by the IRS are 1 in 175. Simply, if you know 174 people that have never been audited I hope you didn’t claim your cat as a dependent. On the flip-side of beating the odds are the times you try to be the select few. Who out there hasn’t tried to beat the odds of about 1 in 14,000,000 by buying a 2 tickets for Megabucks to make it 2 in 14,000,000?

But seriously, in our sport we don’t always do all we can to be on the better side of the odds. How many of us have heard of someone being stranded out on the trail with a blown belt, bad plug or have run out of gas? They thought they could beat the odds, that they wouldn’t need that backup plan.

blown snowmobile belt is damaged beyond use

Help yourself “Beat the Odds”. Don’t let that happen to you. Don’t ruin your ride or your group’s ride and always carry spare parts. Know how to change them and top off your gas and oil every time you go for a ride.

How many of you have read stories of sleds going through the ice, sometimes taking the lives of the riders? Beat the odds and don’t ever take chances on any body of water that you’re not absolutely sure of. Be aware that ice conditions can change during the course of a single day. Also before riding on new trails check with the local clubs for both trail and lake conditions.

How many of us know of someone that has been or have personally been in a snowmobile accident? Every year there are more than 10,000 snowmobile accidents requiring medical attention, and more than 100 riders lose their lives, changing their family’s lives forever. “Beat the Odds” by always riding under control, wearing a helmet, even if its just in your backyard, and respect all trail markings and the rights of the other riders out on the trails. Ride Safe Everyone and Keep the Rubber Side Down.

Photos by Gerry Balchuinas

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