Marshfield Clinic study finds over 1,000 snowmobile injuries in five-year span

Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 9:30 PM CST
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - From November 2013-April 2018, the Marshfield Clinic found 1,013 people suffered snowmobile-related injuries throughout central Wisconsin.

But that may not tell the whole story, they only estimate 20% of injuries being reported.

“By not reporting, we’re not getting the full scope of what’s happening out there,” said Jennifer King MPH, epidemiologist, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute. “They can’t enact different legislation or different safety measures that might help reduce some of those injuries. So we felt it was important to try and get the full picture and we had to do that by going to medical record data.”

“Every year we come across snowmobile accidents or scenes of snowmobile accidents where there wasn’t anything reported,” said Captain Tyler Young, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office.

Common causes of snowmobile injuries are high speeds, stop sign violations, and alcohol use. Last weekend alone, eight OWI’s were reported from snowmobilers in Oneida County. “The deputies responded to an accident and came across some intoxicated operators at these scenes,” said Captain Young. “Several of them being involved in the accident themselves.”

The study is a reminder to riders to stay safe when out on the trails and not become a statistic. King encourages everyone to report any injuries you may have while out on the trails.

“We’re not anti-snowmobile, we’re just recommending that people use them responsibly,” said King. “Don’t take substances or use substances that may impact your ability to control the machine and just ride so that everybody can get home okay.”