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The dangers of riding snowmobiles on lakes and rivers

Winter is moving on and Spring is around the corner. Riding a snowmobile on lakes and rivers can be dangerous. Although snowmobiling on lakes and rivers can be an exciting experience, it comes with its own set of risks. Here are some of the dangers associated with riding a snowmobile on frozen bodies of water:

  1. Thin Ice: Riding on thin ice can be extremely dangerous. The thickness of the ice can vary, and it can be difficult to determine if it’s safe to ride on. Snowmobiles are heavy, and they can break through thin ice, resulting in cold water immersion and hypothermia.
  2. Ice Shifts: Ice can shift and crack due to changes in temperature or water currents, making it unpredictable and unstable.
  3. Pressure Ridges: Pressure ridges can form on lakes and rivers when the ice moves and collides with itself. Snowmobiles can become stuck or damaged if they hit a pressure ridge.
  4. Snowdrifts: Snowdrifts can also be a hazard when snowmobiling on lakes and rivers. Snowdrifts can obscure the surface of the ice and make it difficult to see potential hazards.
  5. Open Water: Open water can also be a hazard, especially near the edges of lakes and rivers. Snowmobiles can fall into open water if they get too close to the edge.

It’s important to always check local ice conditions and to never assume that a frozen lake or river is safe to ride on. If you do choose to snowmobile on a frozen body of water, it’s a good idea to wear a float suit and to carry a rescue sled or ice picks in case of an emergency.

You can get accident benefits insurance for your snowmobile in Ontario.

Accident benefits insurance provides coverage for expenses related to medical treatment, rehabilitation, and lost income if you are injured in a snowmobile accident.

In Ontario, all snowmobile owners are required to have a minimum of $200,000 in third-party liability insurance, which provides coverage for injuries and damages that you may cause to others while operating your snowmobile. However, this insurance does not cover your own injuries, which is where accident benefits insurance comes in.

You can purchase accident benefits insurance as part of a comprehensive snowmobile insurance policy or as a standalone policy. It’s a good idea to carefully consider your coverage options and to choose an insurance policy that meets your specific needs and budget.

Before you ride, an insurance agent or broker can help you find the right policy and answer any questions you may have about coverage and costs.

In the event of an accident, experienced legal assistance is vitally important. Call your broker to report the accident. If you or a family member are hurt, call a local lawyer. In Eastern Ontario, from Kingston to Ottawa to Pembroke, that’s Bergeron Clifford Injury Lawyers.


Edward Bergeron

Ted Bergeron is a Queen’s University graduate with degrees in Physical Education, Arts, Education and Law.

Ted’s legal career started in insurance defence litigation. He worked at a boutique law firm in Toronto, servicing only insurance companies. He switched to representing only injured clients and their families in 1995. He knows both sides of the system inside and out.

He has lectured extensively in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, the School of Physical and Health Education and the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University. He has worked in a volunteer capacity with the Law Society of Upper Canada as an instructor in the Bar Admission Course teaching Civil Litigation.

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