Image from nsaa.org.
Safety first, suckas!
According to a study conducted by the National Ski Areas Association, which includes more than 130,000 skiers and snowboarders from across the country, 60 percent of those shredding the slopes this season wore helmets, compared to only 56 percent last year. While this increase in and of itself is fairly small it is part of a larger trend of increased helmet use, which the NSAA says has risen a total of 140 percent since 2003.
Among younger skiers and riders this year’s numbers were even higher. This season, 74 percent of kids under 17 wore helmets, a 131 percent increase from the number in 2003. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the percentage of helmet use has tended to be higher still among even younger skiers and riders, whose parents likely have a more significant influence on the participants’ behavior than among older kids and young adults. And while skiers and snowboarders ages 18-24 have generally shown the lowest percentage of helmet use, this season 48 percent of them used helmets, over one and a half times the number who did in the 2002/2003 season.
We all know someone who could have avoided serious injury by wearing a helmet this season, so let’s hope the trend continues.
National Ski Areas Association. NSAA National Demographic Survey. “Study Shows 60 Percent Now Wear Helmets on the Slopes:
Helmet Use Among U.S. Skiers and Snowboarders Continues to Escalate.” April 28, 2011.