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Helmets cut injuries, but not fatal ski accidents

Brief by Allen Best

Recreation – February 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Helmets were supposed to make skiing and snowboarding safer. In fact there has been no significant reduction in ski area fatalities in the last nine seasons, even though the use of helmets has increased to more than 33 percent.

However, helmets have reduced the number of head injuries, according to a study cited by the National Ski Areas Association.

Those statistics were cited by the Durango Herald after a 14-year-old boy died after hitting a tree along an intermediate ski trail at Wolf Creek Ski area.

Nationally, about 37 skiers and snowboarders have died per year during the last decade.

Jasper Shealy, a professor emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology, found that fatalities are more likely to occur along wide, smooth and well-groomed intermediate-level trails.