Milwaukee Snowmobile Accident Attorneys Take on Operators Who Ignore Safety Concerns
Most snowmobile accidents are preventable
Wisconsin’s northern latitude makes it one of the top cold-weather recreational destinations in the United States. With more than 25,000 miles of state trails, snowmobiling has become a favorite activity during winter months. Unfortunately, and despite state laws which seek to enforce the safe operation of snowmobiles, snowmobiling remains a potentially dangerous pastime. Dozens of snowmobiling accidents are reported in the Badger State each year, and, over the past decade an average of twenty snowmobile operators or passengers are killed—and often, these fatal accidents were entirely preventable.
At the Milwaukee-area law offices of MacGillis Wiemer LLC, our knowledgeable Milwaukee snowmobile accident attorneys are committed to helping injured people and their families fight for justice following an accident caused by the carelessness of another snowmobile operator. Our more than twenty years of combined litigation experience enables us to hold negligent snowmobilers accountable. We help injured victims receive the compensation they need to recover.
What are common factors in Wisconsin snowmobile accidents?
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources actively promotes snowmobile safety by requiring all snowmobiles used in the state to be registered, by limiting access to state trails to residents and nonresidents that purchase annual trail passes, and by restricting most citizens from operating a snowmobile on public land without a valid Snowmobile Safety Certificate. Various state laws and local ordinances are also in place providing for fines and other sanctions when operators are caught speeding, when a snowmobile fail to pass a maintenance inspection or meet safety standards, or for the wrongful operation of a snowmobile on roads used by automobiles.
However, certain factors arise time and time again in Wisconsin snowmobile accidents, including:
- Alcohol use—As with drivers of automobiles, Wisconsin’s maximum allowable blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%. However, last year, alcohol played a role in 75% of all fatal snowmobile accidents, and a third of all victims had a BAC of 0.2% or greater.
- Driver inexperience—Surprisingly, inexperience, defined as fewer than 100 hours of experience operating a snowmobile, was cited as a factor in less than 20% of all accidents last year. However, alcohol was not cited as a factor in any of them.
- Speed—Excessive speed was cited as a factor in over 80% of all fatal accidents. Although a modern snowmobile is capable of speeds at upwards of 100 mph, a third of all fatal accidents occurred at speeds between 41 and 60 mph.
What can we conclude from these statistics? An argument can be made that tragedy and injury can occur for even experienced snowmobile operators, using traditional safety equipment and traveling at seemingly moderate speeds—and an argument can definitely be made that alcohol and snowmobiles simply do not mix.
What types of injuries commonly result from snowmobiling accidents?
Snowmobile operators and passengers are usually injured in the following types of accidents:
- Collision with a fixed object—This is far and away the most common type of accident, in which loss of control or failure to react causes the snowmobile to run into a tree, bridge, structure, embankment, or shoreline.
- Ejection—occurs when a driver or passenger is thrown from the snowmobile and strikes an object.
- Collision with another snowmobile—A less frequent occurrence, although this can also include accidents in which someone is ejected from the snowmobile and is run over by another snowmobile, or even an automobile or truck.
- Rollover accidents—many drivers lose control when encountering a sharp corner at a high rate of speed
It cannot be overstated—the majority of these deadly accidents involve a snowmobile operator under the influence of alcohol either striking a fixed object, failing to negotiate a curve, or driving too fast for conditions. Needless to say, even those surviving such accidents can suffer devastating injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, or loss of limbs. In addition, adverse winter weather conditions can delay rescue and treatment, and can cause additional health risks such as frostbite.
Trust an aggressive Milwaukee snowmobile accident attorney to fight for justice and hold unsafe operators accountable
At the law offices of MacGillis Wiemer LLC, our experienced Milwaukee snowmobile accident attorneys share your winter recreation safety concerns, and understand the feeling of helplessness that you experience after a fun family activity becomes deadly due to an another’s recklessness. We are dedicated to seeking justice for injured clients and families, and are ready to fight for you. For a free initial consultation at our Wauwatosa offices, we urge you to contact us online or call our office today at (414) 727-5150. We are on West Bluemound Road in Wauwatosa, convenient to I-94 near exit 304.