Enjoy Snow Sports Safely

Snow Sports Safety

We may not have seen much of the white stuff in Rhode Island yet, but it’s a pretty safe bet that it will soon come… whether you’re headed Up North, Out West or just to a sledding hill, keep these tips in mind for the start of the snowy season!


  • Have the right equipment including clothing, goggles and a HELMET!
  • Let people know where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Check the weather forecast and current conditions.
  • Buddy up; go to the snow with one friend or a few!


  • Check conditions, look for posted trail closures before jumping on the lift.
  • Know what you are doing, if you don’t, take a lesson and stay on the appropriate level trails.
  • Stay in control; know how to stop, slow down and turn quickly.
  • If you find yourself on a trail above your skill level, don’t be afraid to stop, remove equipment and walk down on the side of the trail if necessary.
  • Drink water and eat well, don’t mix alcohol / drugs with going down a mountain at high speeds!
  • STOP as soon as you start feeling tired, most accidents happen on that “one last run”…

Skier Responsibility CodeKNOW THE CODE:

  • Always stay in control, and in such a manner that you can stop or avoid other skiers or objects.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way.
  • Stop in a safe place for you and others.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
  • Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe signs and warnings, keep off of closed trails.
  • Know how to use the lifts safely.

Cross Country SkiingCROSS –COUNTRY SKIING:

  • Be aware of your limitations and ski on trails within your skill level.
  • Go in groups of three, that way if a skier is injured one can stay with them while another goes for help.
  • Become acquainted with symptoms of frost bite and hypothermia.
  • If you stop, be sure to step off of the trail so that others may pass.
  • If a skier from behind calls out “track”, move to the right allowing room to pass.
  • Avoid collisions, do not cut off others when entering trails or overtaking.
  • Only ski in direction specified on one-way trails.
  • If you are on a hill, descending skiers have the right of way.
  • If you are climbing the hill move to the far right.
  • Progress slowly, keep in mind that you venture out too far, you still have to make your way back!
  • If heading into the backcountry:
    • Carry a map and compass
    • Be familiar with avalanche safety procedures
    • For longer excursions wear a backpack with food, drink, a waxing kit, extra clothing, emergency repair equipment and a first aid kit.


  • Choose properly fitting snowshoes and use poles to help with balance, act as a brake when descending a hill, help you climb over obstacles and pull you out of powder if you fall over.
  • Bring a backpack with essentials—water, snacks and sunscreen.
  • Find an appropriate trail, a dedicated snowshoe area with plenty of snow
  • Start on flat terrain to get used to walking with snowshoes.
  • When climbing uphill, dig your toes in to allow the metal cleats on the bottom of the shoes to hold on to the snow. Beware baking up—it’s easy to use your balance when walking backwards.


  • Choose the right hill– find one that’s not super steep and ends nice and flat with enough room to stop.
  • Make sure hill is free of obstacles like jumps, bumps, rocks or trees.
  • Choose the right sled— inner tubes and saucers go fast, but it’s a good idea to have a sled that can be steered and stopped!
  • Go one at a time and face forward.
  • If you can’t stop, roll off and get out of the way.
  • Sled during the daytime, when visibility is best.
  • Avoid long scarves or anything, that can get caught in the sled.
  • Walk up the side of the hill, leaving the middle open for other sledders.

At D.F. Dwyer Insurance, we are here to help you with:

Ski Equipment ProtectionEQUIPMENT PROTECTION:
It’s always a good idea to check your homeowners or renter’s policy, as well as your health insurance, just to make sure you know what to do in case of an accident or a loss. Generally, ski equipment you own will be covered up to a specific limit by your homeowners or renter’s policy. Check the limit in your policy and decide if that will be enough to replace the equipment if it is damaged or stolen. When checking, remember to factor in your deductible.


Because you may be out of town without access to your family physician or local hospital, review your emergency medical treatment requirements – for instance, are you required to seek medical treatment at a certain hospital or urgent care center? What’s your emergency room co-pay? If you need to fill a prescription, do you have to go to a certain pharmacy? It never hurts to have a list of these details when you travel.

If you are headed to s snowy destination, travel this time of year can be uncertain. Travel insurance can cover everything from lost luggage to delays and cancellations. Consider a cost-effective policy to your worries about not reaching your destination, or getting stuck far away from home.

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