Snowmobile and All-terrain Vehicle Safety

​​​​​To stay safe when driving a snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), it is important to:

  • wear a helmet, even off-trail. This is also mandatory for passengers. For helmets without a visor, it is mandatory to wear protective glasses (except for the passenger of a sleigh or trailer with a closed cabin);
  • keep the vehicle’s white headlights and red tail-light on;
  • observe speed limits and keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you;
  • keep in mind that it is prohibited to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as well as to hang on, stand on or get on a moving snowmobile or ATV
  • check ice conditions of water bodies on your route before going snowmobiling and avoid unsafe water bodies;
  • cross public roads at the locations identified by signs. Drivers must hold a valid driver’s licence to drive on public roads;
  • observe signage. For more information about signs used on snowmobile and ATV trails, you can refer to our webpage on off-road vehicle signage.

Safety measures in remote locations

Snowmobile and ATV trails are located outside urban centers, where it is difficult or impossible to connect to mobile networks.

Some basic precautionary measures can make all the difference for safety in remote locations, for example, by:

  • having location devices like a global positioning system (GPS) or radio beacons;
  • informing the people responsible for the territory or a relative of your exact destination and the date you expect to be back, and give them the instruction to contact emergency services (911) in the event you are missing;
  • making sure you carry the equipment to provide first aid to an injured person (first aid kit) and have a way of communicating with emergency services (two-way radio, satellite phone, etc.);
  • keeping in mind that in case of an accident, the more remote your location is, the greater the impact it has on rescue and evacuation time, and the time needed to reach an hospital.
In the wild, your safety is your responsibility

The ministère de la Sécurité publique launched an awareness campaign under the theme “In the wild, your safety is your responsibility”. For more information on this campaign, refer to the ministère de la Sécurité publique’s website, on the page Services d’urgence en milieu isolé (emergency services in isolated areas) [page in French only, with downloadable content in English].

Survival kit

Be prepared and pack a basic survival kit, which may include:

  • a basic tool kit and a spare key
  • spark plugs, a drive belt, and antifreeze
  • first aid manual and kit
  • a sharpened pocket knife, a saw, or an axe
  • a nylon rope for towing (about 10 metres)
  • a geographic map and a GPS
  • waterproof matches, a flashlight and a whistle
  • a lightweight, aluminized blanket

Awareness campaign

The ministère des Transports is conducting a snowmobile and ATV safety awareness campaign with the slogan “Les prudents en font longtemps”. The goal is to remind users of the rules to comply with when snowmobiling or driving an ATV, and encourage them to adopt safe habits. To this end, the Ministère used various means of communication:

  • radio commercial
  • Web banners
  • posters
  • ads in specialized magazines
Les prudents en font longtemps campaign. Drive safely to enjoy snowmobiling for many years. Les prudents en font longtemps campaign. Drive safely to enjoy your ATV outings for many years​​

Documentation

Order the pamphlet Totally safe outings! (ATV and snowmobile). [The webpage is in French only, but the pamphlet is available in English]