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North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department

Snowmobile Helmet Safety

Snowmobiling is a great way to get outdoors during the winter and have fun. Accidents can happen when inexperienced riders encounter unpredictable terrain or changing weather conditions. When accidents occur, head injuries are the most common type, especially in children (source: National Institute of Health), so "Ride Safe, Ride Smart" by wearing a properly fitted helmet at all times.


Assessing your helmet

  • My helmet fits properly. It should be snug and fasten securely. Improperly fitted helmets can reduce your field of vision and may not provide adequate protection.
  • My helmet is not outdated. Helmets have a shelf life of approximately five to eight years. After that time the protective materials inside begin to breakdown and offer less protection. Also as new technology is developed, helmets become more advanced and provide greater protection. Newer snowmobile helmets will keep your face warm and your vision clear of fog. For your safety, make sure that your helmet has the latest technology. Also check the helmet for a DOT (Department of Transportation) stamp or sticker which signals the helmet meets all current safety standards.
  • My helmet is not cracked or damaged. A cracked or damaged helmet can allow almost as much damage as no helmet at all. Before using a helmet, give it a quick look over to make sure that it is not cracked or damaged. A helmet can only withstand one serious impact before losing its protective qualities.
  • My helmet provides maximum protection. Many types of helmets are available, but be sure to choose the one for your protection needs. Common injuries also include dental and facial damage, so consider a full face helmet to fully protect yourself.

If you aren’t sure you can answer yes to these statements, visit one of our safety certification courses (click here for a list of scheduled courses) for a free helmet assessment or check with an expert, such as a snowmobile salesman, when choosing a helmet. They will ensure the helmet fits and protects the rider properly.

Clubs and dealers getting involved

To reinforce the campaign and reach as many snowmobile enthusiasts as possible, the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) is offering snowmobile clubs and dealers a chance to become part of the effort at the local level. The links below contain customizable tools to help you promote helmet safety in your own community.

  • Special Events: Some ideas to help you partner with NDPRD and join in the "Ride Safe. Ride Smart" campaign. You may develop your own idea or adjust any of these ideas to make them work for your club. (pdf 26k)
  • News Release: Can be sent out to local media (newspaper, TV, radio), and should be customized to help your club or dealership promote your helmet safety event or giveaway. (pdf 12k)
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Can be used to answer common follow-up questions the media may ask about helmet safety and any events you organize.
  • "Ride Safe, Ride Smart" Posters: May be used to promote the campaign in your club, dealership, schools, or anywhere else in the community. The printed posters may be written on to announce an event, or you may choose to customize an electronic file.
ride safe ride smart