More severe and fatal accidents among skiers and snowboarders involve head injuries than any other type of trauma. Up to 15 percent of all winter sports injuries involve the head. That’s why you’re likely seeing more people of all ages on the slopes wearing helmets.
Ski resorts often encourage their guests to wear helmets. Some, like Breckenridge Resort, require children to wear helmets for skiing and snowboarding lessons.
A helmet may help you feel safer, but how effective is it in preventing serious brain injury? According to a recent study of the effectiveness of ski helmets, while they reduce the incidence of head injuries, their effectiveness in reducing traumatic brain injury (TBI), and specifically concussions, is still in question.
Researchers studied people at 30 ski resorts in France from 2012 through 2014. They found that those who wore helmets were less likely to suffer head injuries than those who didn’t wear them. However, they found that the risk of suffering a TBI wasn’t significantly reduced by wearing a helmet.
Interestingly, however, researchers found that people who wore helmets were less likely to suffer injuries to other parts of their body. The doctor who led the study said, “This result suggests that helmet users take less risk than those who do not use helmets. This contradicts the ‘risk compensation theory,’ which implies that the perception of being protected by the helmet might lead people to take more risks.” He notes that the findings could be used to spur helmet manufacturers to improve their design “to better protect from concussion.”
Certainly, it’s never a bad idea to protect your head while engaged in any sport — particularly one where you could easily hit the ground, a tree or another person while traveling at a significant speed. However, if you or a loved one has suffered a TBI or other serious injury at a ski resort, your life could be altered forever. It’s worth exploring whether the ski resort could or should have done something to prevent the accident and the injury. An experienced Colorado attorney can provide valuable guidance about your options for seeking compensation.