Sign in to follow this  
jhwentworth

Something to think about

Recommended Posts

In an earlier post about  ride to Evans Notch I wrote about some folks on rental sleds we met while in the notch. I'd guess they were sled newbies.

Today I saw this on the NHSA site.

Snowmobile Rental Accidents
Out of approximately 42,000+ registered snowmobiles in NH, only 318 are rental units
Yet 32% of snowmobile accidents in the 2017/2018 season involved a rented snowmobile
Inexperience was a contributing factor in all of those accidents

Seems odd that less than 1% of the sleds were involved in 32% of the accidents. These rental sleds probably put on a lot more miles each year than most sleds, but even if the rentals put on double or triple the mileage it's still out of line. There's a parallel with teenage auto drivers: "according to research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 16- to 17-year old drivers are nine times more likely to be involved in a crash than adults and six times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than adults." 

It's probably fair to say that a person who would operate a sled with minimal training and zero experience could be considered risk tolerant. High risk tolerance and inexperience, what could go wrong?

I wonder what the insurance rates are for rental sleds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might be able to pay for insurance up front when you rent it, like when you rent a car. Otherwise, you crash it - you bought it. 

 

I would guess that the reported rate of accidents is higher. Lots of people don't insure their sleds. In a relatively minor accident - broken plastics, bent A-arms, etc, and no or minor injury, the sled probably gets driven or towed off the trail, and the accident is never reported. This has happened to one of my sleds. 

 

Rentals are one way to introduce new people to the sport, which is a good thing, especially if they have a good experience. I rented one years ago, but don't remember much about the training, who knows what they tell people now.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd guess that the rental company offers insurance protection at an extra cost, but probably has some sort of liability coverage to protect themselves.. Still, if rental sleds are involved in a third of sled accidents somebody is paying for the damages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's surprising to me that there are only 318 rentals in the state. Seems low! As someone who had a rental fleet for a little over twenty years I have seen a lot of situations evolve. Big difference in my operation was I included guide service for no extra money than the rental. I SOLD people on the advantages of going out with someone who could show them the best of the area had to offer without stopping at every  intersection to look at a map. Also the advantages of someone who could fix any minor problems they couldn't handle (plugs, belts etc). I also convinced people it would be to there advantage to allow me to show them the sleds in detail before mounting up and taking them on a fun game of follow the leader on First Conn Lake (nothing to run into) where they could get the feel of throttle, brake, leaning into corners, keeping distance, hand signals,  on then after about 10-15 minutes we would roar off onto the trail at 15 to 20mph, see some great stuff, come back all together at 35-40, all in one piece. I was lucky to operate out of Timberland Lodge where I was referred mostly rookies, got good at it, and loved it. Still bump into people who tell me about there first experience being very nice. As far as damage goes, people were responsible for there own, but rarely was there anything more serious than bumpers, tail lights, hoods, skis.  Not everyone went out with the guide, but were aware of what they were missing, before heading off with friends or solo.

If some of the rental outfits operating today, trained someone to approach rookies from the same direction there would be a tiny fraction of accidents that are occurring. The salary of one or two good individuals would generate huge savings in the long run, and a super increase in repeat business. Few people come back  a second time if you have to "melt" their credit card with big numbers on the first ride.

Picture 1_2.jpg

Edited by pathfinder
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the weekend there were two separate snowmobile accidents in Gorham involving a sled hitting a tree. The sled operators were middle-aged women from Maryland and Florida, and both were wearing helmets but lacked experience. I'd guess that one or both of these accidents involved a borrowed or rental sled.

Union Leader
GORHAM — A Florida woman was injured Saturday when she lost control of a snowmobile and struck a tree, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said. Christina Coleman, 49, of Juno Beach, Fla., crashed around 6 p.m. Saturday on Bear Spring Trail, Fish and Game said in a news release. Coleman’s son, who was riding with her, assisted her back to the trail and called for help, the news release said. Coleman, who was wearing a helmet, was taken to Androscoggin Valley Hospital for further evaluation and treatment, according to the news release. Investigators said inexperience was considered the primary cause of the crash.

GORHAM, N.H. —
A woman was seriously hurt in a snowmobile crash in Gorham on Sunday. At 5:25 p.m., Inna Getsin, 37, of Owings Falls, Maryland, struck a tree when she lost control while navigating a turn on Bear Spring Trail. Getsin was thrown from the snowmobile but was able to get herself back on the trail. Members of her riding party came to her aid and called 911. Getsin was transported by ambulance to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin for further evaluation and treatment. Getsin was wearing a helmet. Inexperience is considered the primary cause of the crash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this