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Snowmobile Safety Tips

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NICOLLET, Minn. -

Snowmobilers warm up after racing in the radar run. Toping out at a speed of 15 miles an hour 3 year–old Taylor Wilking completes her first race. Taylor Wilking says, "It was fun. You can drive fast."

Father Jason Wilking says "I was very nervous for her first time, she's young but she did real well and I was happy with it."

Jason Wilking says when riding responsibly snowmobiling is a fun and safe sport. Wilking says, "Just teach them and tell them what everything is about. And they'll be all right."

John Bendix knows from experience the dangers of driving too fast. Bendix says, "I was going too fast. Bounced off the sled fell off the sled."

Speed is a contributing factor for nearly all snowmobiling fatalities, according to the state. General manager of Snell Power Sports Kyle Brende says it's harder to keep track of your surroundings at high speeds, especially at night. Brende says, "Most accidents are always at night. Most people driving over their capabilities."

That coupled with alcohol and or riding alone all too often make for a deadly combination. Bendix says, "These sleds are pretty powerful these days so you really have to watch how you're driving in them."

Bendix says with sleds being able to go from zero to a 100 miles per hour in a short period of time, riders can underestimate how much control they have. Bendix says, "The sleds don't stop as quick as they accelerate."

He says the only time to really rev your engine is at radar runs like today. Bendix says, "It's safe it's legal and it's a lot of fun."