Snowmobile injuries in North America

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2003 Apr:(409):29-36. doi: 10.1097/01.blo.0000057781.10364.c9.


The snowmobile was developed to move people and supplies, and for emergencies in regions where heavy snow prohibited the use of conventional vehicles. Today, snowmobiling has become a popular winter sport enjoyed by more than 2 million people of all ages in North America. However, the modern snowmobile can weigh in excess of 600 pounds and travel at speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour. Each year snowmobile accidents produce approximately 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries. Excess speed, alcohol, driver inexperience, and poor judgment are the leading causes of accidents. Injuries incurred in children and adults often are extremity fractures, but can involve any organ system. Similar to motor vehicle accidents, multisystem trauma occurs frequently with head injury the leading cause of death. Reduction in injury and death rates is urgently needed and can be accomplished through education and legislation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • North America / epidemiology
  • Snow Sports / injuries*
  • Snow Sports / statistics & numerical data*
  • Trauma Severity Indices