We couldn’t believe it either but apparently its true. In a recently published report by the Centre de recherche de l’HSCM, Montréal found that, as expected, non-helmet-wearing participants were more likely to suffer from minor head injuries but what wasn’t unexpected was that helmet wearers were less likely to suffer injuries to other parts of their body such as a broken leg, than non-helmet wearers! This blows away the theory that ski helmets encourage wearers to take more risks because of the perception that helmets make them safer. It seems skiers and boarders in helmets are simply more safety conscious on the slopes.
The reality is that wearing a helmet will help prevent serious head injuries in low impact falls but sadly around 3% – 15% of fatal accidents are caused by major head trauma, and a helmet wouldn’t have helped.
The study also found participants with low skill levels, those aged less than 16 and over 50 years, and also snowboarders, were at higher risks of head injuries. Collisions and accidents in a snow park were more likely to induce head injuries than other traumatic incidents.
Importantly the study also asked questions to the scientific community and helmet manufacturers about how helmets can be improved to offer better protection from on slope concussion.
I can still remember seeing my first skier wearing a helmet, it was in the ski resort of Meribel around 2004 and I can remember thinking, what a twat. Today I look at skiers without a helmet and think the same thing!
Only a twat would go skiing without a helmet.
Boris Johnson wrote an amusing article on the subject ski helmets in the Daily Telegraph, back in 2010, vowing to keep skiing in his bobble hat. Who am I to try and change his mind, carry on Boris, I’ll race you to the bottom!
Before you start packing your gear for your next ski holiday don’t forget your helmet, after all, you don’t want a broken leg do you?