Snowmobile Safety, Training, and Reporting Accidents
Snowmobile riding can be a risky sport. Before you ride, learn how to properly use all the mechanical controls and safety devices of your vehicle. Read your owner’s manual.
Most importantly, take a safety course before riding. Information about safety instructors is available in the list of snowmobile safety instructors by county (PDF) or by contacting DCNR's Bureau of Forestry at 717-783-7941.
Individuals 10 years of age or older can also take the online Snowmobile Safety Course.
Safety Training Requirement for Youth Riders
Each year, hundreds of youth are involved in snowmobile accidents, some resulting in death. While riding these vehicles is fun, it also can be very dangerous.
Because of a child’s leg and arm length, hand size, and strength, it is often difficult for children to properly control an adult-sized vehicle. Children driving snowmobiles should always be under the direct supervision of a responsible adult. Keep in mind:
Children often emulate parental behavior -- set good examples
Children often underestimate the danger and risk because of inexperience
Children often overestimate their skill level
It is mandatory that all youth ages 10 -15 take an approved snowmobile training course if they are planning to use their vehicle off of their parent’s or guardian’s property. No child under the age of 10 is allowed to operate a snowmobile on public lands.
For information about youth training, call DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry at 717-783-7941, or the Pennsylvania State Snowmobile Association at 1-888-411-7772.
Snowmobile Riding Safety Tips
Keep your ride safe and fun by following these safety tips:
Wear a helmet and eye protection at all times and other protective clothing suitable to the environment
Do not let young or inexperienced riders operate snowmobiles without training and supervision
Do not use alcohol or other drugs when you ride
Learn proper riding skills from an instructor or qualified rider and practice such skills before riding
Always maintain a safe distance between riders -- tailgating can lead to collisions and injuries
Ride with others and let someone know where you are riding -- never ride alone
Obey the laws
Stay on trails designated for snowmobiles
Be informed of local weather conditions and dress and equip yourself appropriately
Know the area you are riding in -- be aware of its potential hazards
Always ride at a safe and responsible speed -- know your abilities and don’t exceed those levels
Make sure your equipment is in top working order -- check before heading out
Carry a map of the trail or area you intend to travel
Clear snow dust off your snowmobile tail lights at frequent intervals
Reporting Snowmobiling Accidents
If you are involved in an accident that results in the injury or death of any person, or property damages to the estimated amount of $100 or more, you must report the matter using the Snowmobile/ATV Accident Report Form within seven days.
It is a violation of the Snowmobile/ATV Law not to report an accident.
If involved in an accident, you must stop and give your name and address, the name and address of the owner of the vehicle, and its registration number to the other person(s) involved in the accident or to a police officer.
Accident forms are also available upon request from:
Bureau of Forestry
Bureau of State Parks
State police stations
You can be held liable for injuries or death or damage to property resulting from the negligent use of your vehicle.