Hit the Slopes

Everything from the bunny hill to the double black diamond

Ski safety: Why you should invest in a helmet

In class yesterday, we discussed new tools for journalists. One that caught my particular attention was Visual.ly, a database of Creative Commons data visualizations for use in blogs such as this one. While perusing the site, I stumbled across this graphic about the necessity of wearing helmets while skiing:

Some of this information blew my mind. Skiing can be a really dangerous sport. That’s especially true for extreme skiers: while riding in unexplored, ungroomed terrain, there’s no ski patrol to come and help them. Unexpected avalanches and other risks pose a daunting possibility of danger for extreme skiers (who chose to do it anyway).

Skiing can be dangerous even for the average downhill skier. Bad skiing conditions can lead to poor visibility and make staying out on the slopes a risky business, sometimes even fatal.

This year the ski season in Colorado ended with 20 skier deaths, a record high for the state. Both young skiers and older skiers are at risk of injury; skiing is as equally challenging and risky for everyone.

Helmets, as the graphic above states, can be lifesaving. There’s a high risk of injury in the sport – almost two-thirds of skiers and snowboarders have gotten injured while on the slopes, according to the graphic, but 65.7 percent of injured skiers who wore a helmet said the helmet prevented greater injury than if they had been injured while not wearing a helmet.

All this just reconfirms my own personal thoughts: Whenever I’m on the slopes, I wear a helmet.

Graphic (cc) Essential Travel and republished here under a Creative Commons license via Visual.ly. Some rights reserved.

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