February 19, 1997

Injuries and Deaths Associated With Use of Snowmobiles—Maine, 1991-1996

JAMA. 1997;277(7):526-527. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540310024015

DURING THE 1995-96 winter season (i.e., November 1995 through April 1996), both the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) and the Maine Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) detected an increase in deaths associated with snowmobile use in Maine. From the fall of 1991 through the spring of 1995, three to eight snowmobile-related deaths occurred each winter season (mean: 5.4 per winter season); during the 1995-96 winter season, 12 deaths were recorded--the largest number of snowmobile-related deaths in 25 years. In addition, from 1991 through 1996, the number of registered snowmobiles increased from 61641 to a record high of 76 477, respectively, and the death rate per registered vehicle in 1996 was higher than in any of the previous 5 years. To assist in the development and evaluation of strategies to prevent injury and death associated with the use of snowmobiles in