Study on ski helmets

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  1. #1

    Study on ski helmets

    Summary: “But, despite the increase in helmet use, the rate of head injury did not change significantly, decreasing only slightly from 49% to 43%, the researchers found.”

    Article here: https://vtdigger.org/2019/12/04/dart...cache=friendly


  2. #2
    Key sentence here: "[Helmet weareres] also are more likely to hit a tree or fall from a jump."

    Majority of skiers who aren't wearing a helmet are gapers, or the occasional old dude who knows his limits. Tree skiing is basically very unsafe without a helmet. If for some reason I forget to bring my helmet, I'll probably still ski without out, but definitely be dialing back my limits and possibly passing on certain terrain I would have otherwise skied.

    Also in the 8 years the study took place (2010-2018 ), tree skiing expanded a lot and more people started doing it. How many *more* injuries would there be if these people didn't wear helmets?

    The jump part is interesting because I see a lot of fools without helmets getting massive air at places like Carinthia, I would find it hard to believe that a comparison between only "park skiers/riders" would have the same outcome.
    2019/2020 season

    Berkshire East [12/20, 1/7, 1/10, 1/22, 1/24]
    Bretton Woods [1/3, 1/30]
    Cannon [2/19]
    Gunstock [1/2]
    Mad River Glen [1/29, 2/11]
    Mount Snow [11/14, 11/21, 12/2]
    Pico [2/23]
    Smugglers Notch [2/12]
    Wachusett [12/16]

  3. #3
    frankly not surprised by this. Everything Tuna says is true, but I also have always questioned whether there was really marked safety improvement with a helmet. Even if its a small improvement its worth it, and it's way warmer than just a hat!
    2019-2020


    Ski Visits in PA 28
    Ski Visits in VT 3
    Ski Visits in CO 4

    Total Ski Visits 35

    Ski Roundtop
    11/16, 11/17, 11/23, 12/20 (LR), 12/21, 12/22, 12/23, 12/26 (LR), 12/27 (LR), 12/28, 12/30 (LR), 12/31 (LR), 1/2 (LR), 1/3 (LR), 1/5, 1/17 (LR), 1/18, 1/20, 1/24 (LR), 1/26, 2/1, 2/2, 2/3, 2/14 (LR), 2/15, 2/16
    Breckenridge 1/9,1/10
    Keystone 1/11
    Arapahoe Basin 1/12
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    LR=Lunch Runs

  4. #4
    It sure saves me from being whacked in the head by tree branches a lot. Traumatic head injury, maybe not.

    I have gone over the handlebars on a mountain bike directly head-into-tree before and I'm pretty sure it would have been serious injury or death given how hard that impact was.
    2019/2020 season

    Berkshire East [12/20, 1/7, 1/10, 1/22, 1/24]
    Bretton Woods [1/3, 1/30]
    Cannon [2/19]
    Gunstock [1/2]
    Mad River Glen [1/29, 2/11]
    Mount Snow [11/14, 11/21, 12/2]
    Pico [2/23]
    Smugglers Notch [2/12]
    Wachusett [12/16]

  5. #5
    kingslug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Stamford Ct and Stowe
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    And wacked in the head by the lift bar when someone slams it down..comes in very handy for that.
    Lets go!
    I'll drive.

  6. #6
    The problem isn't that helmets aren't helping. The problem is behavior is changing. People are taking more risks in some cases specifically because they think a helmet will prevent serious injuries.

  7. #7
    aside from the tree branches tuna mentioned, i've had one incident where the helmet really saved the day. breck a few years ago, zooming down a groomer back to the lift, turned my head to see how far behind my buddies were, caught an edge without looking and went down so hard. bashed my shoulder and my head. if i didnt have the helmet i'd surely have been concussed. the shoulder got slinged and iced and pain killered and i skied thru the pain the rest of the trip and slept painfully for a month after

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by KustyTheKlown View Post
    zooming down a groomer back to the lift, turned my head to see how far behind my buddies were, caught an edge without looking and went down so hard. bashed my shoulder and my head. if i didnt have the helmet i'd surely have been concussed. the shoulder got slinged and iced and pain killered and i skied thru the pain the rest of the trip and slept painfully for a month after
    Similar thing happened to me at Jiminy Peak about 10 years ago. Was caught (not)looking at a good clip and hit a randomly placed mogul. Flew for a while and landed on my head and shoulder. Shoulder was dislocated, head was totally fine. I guess that's another time I can thank a helmet, not sure how that would have panned out without one. I know all about that month of painful sleep though!
    2019/2020 season

    Berkshire East [12/20, 1/7, 1/10, 1/22, 1/24]
    Bretton Woods [1/3, 1/30]
    Cannon [2/19]
    Gunstock [1/2]
    Mad River Glen [1/29, 2/11]
    Mount Snow [11/14, 11/21, 12/2]
    Pico [2/23]
    Smugglers Notch [2/12]
    Wachusett [12/16]

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Lower Hudson Valley
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    decreasing only slightly from 49% to 43%
    That's how many skiers?

    I'm always skeptical of these "studies". Or at least the journalist interpretation of the studies.

    I've NEVER hit my head even once skiing for the several decades before helmets were popular. But then, I never went into trees or did any inverted tricks. So I suspect there really isn't that much head banging in skiing falls by joe average on groomers. Helmet or not, it's really irrelevant for a big portion of the skier population.

    But throw in trees and parks, the equation changed. As pointed out by others, a lot more people ski in the trees these days. And I quite often see Moms take a jump here and there when chaperoning their kids! The fact head injury rate "only decrease slightly" may actually be preventing head injuries left and right, saving many more lives than we know how to count?

    The increase in head injury related to high speed crash may also be a product of the carving skis. People do tend to ski faster all around, and that's even without straight-lining.

    I'm definitely a helmet fan, for myself that is. It's WAY warmer. It's a nice place to keep my goggle, keep branches from hitting my head or losing my hats to them etc. But I'm under no illusion it's going to "save" me if I were to keep making poor decisions.

    And if anyone is going to give me grief on a day I forgot my helmet but choose to ski without it? I'm likely to tell them they should just go ahead and piss into their helmet instead!

  10. #10
    25 years after purchasing a helmet, I take far more chances/risks than I would w/o one.


    Tree-skiing has a much more risk-taking advantage with a helmet - my helmet is evidence - scarred/marked/but not broken.

    My 1st tree-skiing experience in 1987 at Steamboat - the pretty girl serving us drinks the night before in the ' hardest-to-find-bar in Vail' gondola basement stated "If you're going to Steamboat, remember one thing: trees don't move.'

    That's why stats can't be compared. Apples and oranges

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