Skiing and snowboarding have gotten a bad wrap over the years for being an excessively dangerous pastime that leads to weekend warriors being laid up for weeks after a casual trip to the hill but what do the number have to say?
In a CNN article titled “Danger on the slopes: Are winter sports safe?” President of the International Society for Skiing Safety (ISSS) Dr. Mike Langran is quoted “For snow sports, the average injury rate is 2-3 per 1000 participants on any one day. Compare that to an average game of soccer or rugby where perhaps the same number, or more are injured out of a much smaller number of players.”
He goes on to say,“With regard to fatalities, in the U.S. during the past 10 years, about 41.5 people have died skiing/snowboarding per year on average. During the 2010/11 season, 47 fatalities occurred out of the 60.5 million skier/snowboarder days reported for the season. The rate of fatality converts to 0.78 per million skier/snowboarder visits”
While skiing is still more dangerous than a round of golf or 10 frames of bowling, it may not be as injury prone as you might imagine. Injuries can be avoided by proper physical preparation, staying aware on the slopes and skiing terrain that matches your ability level. Also do yourself a favor and wear a Helmet.