The anticipation of the ski lift to the top, the sun sparkling from the powdered snow, the exhilaration as you pick up speed, skilfully slaloming the crisp pistes, and then ending the day with a drink by the fire.
With the ski season upon us, many will be hitting the slopes with a certain image in mind. But please don’t let a skiing accident spoil your fun!
Skiing & Snowboarding Accidents
Despite the idyllic setting, skiing and snowboarding accidents do happen, and amidst the icy elements there is always an element of risk. Throughout the world, skiing and snowboarding accidents are relatively low, with the latest statistics approximately 3 injuries per 1000 skier days.
For skiers the most common injury is the knee and in snowboarding it is the wrist. Head injuries are in second place for both, but such statistics don’t offer perspective in light of the severity of skiing injuries.
Michael Schumacher’s headlining catastrophe on the slopes is among the small percentage of snow sport accidents included in the statistics. Shumacher fell whilst skiing and, despite wearing a safety helmet, fell into a coma when he hit his head on a rock.
Skiing Injury Facts
- 25% of skiing injuries involve colliding with other skiers, trees or other objects
- 5% of ski accidents are due to equipment failure
- 5% involve ski lifts
- Tiredness is one of the most common reasons for skiing accidents.
Protect yourself no matter what your level of experience, as skiing and snowboarding injuries can often be caused by others as much as yourself. Wear safety equipment and, whether rented or owned, make sure it isn’t faulty before taking to the slopes. Though there is no law on wearing a helmet, many experts insist that skiing / snowboarding helmets should be compulsory.
Beginners and young skiers are vulnerable on the piste. Ensure that you attend skiing or snowboarding classes with professional instructors so that you can enjoy the slopes in confidence. It’s a good idea to take a lesson or two on the dry slopes at your nearest indoor skiing / snowboarding centre before tackling the pistes of Europe. Beginners classes and refresher courses are usually available at most ski resorts.
Slope Grading and Piste Maps
Pistes, or trails as they’re sometimes called, are graded so that you can choose your route based on your skill level. Before booking your skiing holiday, check that the resort caters to your ability, and before you head out map your trail with the colour-coded level of experience guide.
Enjoy the slopes! Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding on holiday overseas or at an indoor ski centre, remember to stay safe and it’s all downhill from there.
Joanne Berry is a Senior Travel Litigation Lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are experts in dealing with skiing and snowboarding injury claims and most claims are dealt with on a No Win, No Fee basis. For a free consultation call our Personal Injury Solicitors 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.
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