Here in Ontario, snowmobiling is a dilettante's winter sport. And not a week goes by that we don't hear of some horrid accident. The gruesome parade claims whoever is young or dumb enough to take the chance.
So when I saw statistics that supported my long-held suspicion that this was an activity that disproportionately attracted idiotic behaviors and the idiots who seem to know no better, I felt now was the right time to write this:
Snowmobile stats chilling eye-openerEpilogue: CTV news reported this over the weekend: Snowmobile accidents claim 5 lives in Canada. Looks like those numbers will be just as big this year. I guess we'll never really learn.
Published Thursday, January 26, 2006
The London Free Press
I’ve never been a fan of snowmobiles. They may be lifelines for those who live in the Arctic. But down here where winter is a temporary inconvenience, these hugely powerful machines become dangerous playthings for young men who drink too much, drive too fast and refuse to wear their helmets.
My hunch is confirmed by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. It just released a report that says snowmobile accidents were responsible for 41 per cent of all specialized trauma injuries in Canada in 2003-2004.
In contrast, snowboarding and skiing each accounted for 20 per cent, while hockey mishaps resulted in nine per cent of trauma admissions. The report adds half of the snowmobile victims were drinking, 80 per cent were men, and people under 20 were the most likely of all groups to be seriously injured.
Other statistics put the annual Canadian death toll from this so-called sport at 95.
It seems to me that there’s little benefit to society that justifies this carnage taking place mere minutes from our homes.
Your turn: Does the frequency of accidents fuelled by sheer stupidity make this activity inherently more dangerous and costly to society than others? Should something be done to rein it in? If so, what?