SPRINGFIELD -- Authorities are reminding snowmobile users about the importance of safety. The Department of Natural Resources says there were 34 reported snowmobile accidents last year resulting in three deaths.
Illinois Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez says most accidents can be prevented with common sense. The department encourages everyone to take a snowmobile safety class before the first ride of the season. It offers these tips:
-- Never consume alcohol before or during a snowmobile ride.
-- Make sure equipment is in proper working order.
-- Wear protective clothing including a full-size helmet with goggles or face shield.
-- Avoid wearing long scarves, which may get caught in moving parts.
-- Be aware of trail closures and know the terrain.
-- Avoid frozen waterways if you're not sure about the thickness of ice.
-- Never ride alone.