Skiing and snowboarding are popular winter recreational sports that draw thousands of people to the slopes every season. But are these activities dangerous? We’ll break it down so you can make an informed decision for yourself and your family.
It’s common for law offices, like Zinda Law, to offer legal services specifically for skiing and snowboarding accidents—but that can be a sign of a more significant problem.
From 2009 to 2019, an average of 38people died yearly from an accident on the slopes. Another studyshowed that between 1990 and 2010, the annual fatality rate in American football was 12.2. While commonly thought of as one of the deadliest sports played in the US, football pales compared to skiing and snowboarding fatalities.
Because winter slope sports involve unstable, constantly shifting terrain, the course itself can be the cause of many accidents. These uncontrollable factors range from a rock jutting into the skier’s path to an unexpected avalanche. The unpredictable nature of slopes makes them more dangerous than, say, a football field.
Additionally, collisions are common in skiing and snowboarding. Collision is a risk on any slope, whether it’s another skier or a tree appearing in your path. If someone gets off course and falls into a tree well, they could succumb toSnow Immersion Suffocation or hypothermia in a matter of minutes.
Plus, with so much equipment necessary for a safe and successful trip down the slope, there is lots of room for gear to malfunction, which can lead to severe injury.
Breaking Down the Data
All these details can sound frightening. But before you panic and cancel your trip to the slopes, it’s essential to understand the whole picture.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, reports for head trauma and brain injuries in winter slope sports are the same rate as with cycling and football. That said, most injuries are not so severe. Bruises and broken bones are the most common injuries in skiing and snowboarding.
It may surprise you to learn that snowboarding is considered saferthan skiing. While people are more likely to suffer injuries while snowboarding, they are less likely to get into a fatal accident.
When it comes to minor injuries, wrist and ankle injuries are more commonfor snowboarders, while knee and thumb injuries are more prevalent among skiers.
While ski facilities can be held responsible for injury under certain circumstances, operators and individuals have obligations under the law in many states. That means you must keep up your end of the bargain to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the slopes.
If you take adequate safety precautions and follow the slope guidelines, you have little to worry you. Make sure you wear well-fitting gear, including a helmet. Always stay on the marked trails and only attempt slopes suitable for your abilities.
With some basic precaution and awareness of the risks, skiing and snowboarding can continue to be an exciting and predominately safe winter activity for your family!