As the winter continues and northerners try to embrace it by getting out and enjoying winter sports and recreation, there's been an increase in the number of snowmobile crashes in the Sudbury area.

There have been nine already this year, compared to a total of 16 for all 2017. 

Police determined the three crashes over the weekend did not involve alcohol, but say speed was a factor in all of them.

"A common mistake is people going too fast for the conditions, even on lakes where they see it's wide open. They think it's a green light to open up the throttle.” said Constable Mitch Brunette of the Greater Sudbury Police Service.

In one crash on Windy Lake in Onaping, a 48-year-old man from Hamilton hit a pressure ridge of ice.

“Alot of times there is a lot of hidden obstacles you can't see. When it's bright and sunny out on a white surface, you won't see in the hidden ridges, which if you hit at high speed could be disastrous.” said Constable Brunette.

Police say inexperience is also a factor in the collisions.

“The biggest thing is to get out on your sleds, have some fun, but drive responsibly.

Everyone out there has varying abilities, some people are very experienced riders and others aren't. If you are a new rider, make sure you are able to drive within your capability.” said Sergeant Tim Burtt.

Police say they are out patrolling area trails and lakes, emphasizing safe riding and enforcing the rules.

“If you are heading out, try not to be alone. Try to have a riding partner, should something happen, then you have somebody who can assist you.” said Constable Brunette.

The OPP in Almaguin Highlands report a snowmobile death in their area on Sunday. Police say a 41-year-old man from a small town near London died when his snow machine lost control and hit a tree on King Lake Road in the South River region.