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Crash Helmets!

Lincoln, United...
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Crash Helmets!

Read an interesting article in The Telegraph by Boris Johnson regarding the increasing numbers of skiers wearing crash helmets! I didn't ski in Austria last year, we went to Lapland instead but the last time in Austria I did notice that about 35% were wearing crash helmets. This year I was very surprised that it was more like 90% of skiers were wearing the things!! Boris makes an interesting comment asking are these helmet wearing skiers a danger to those of us who don't wear them, he mentioned an accident where a helmet wearer collided with a lady who wasn't wearing one and she was fatally injured. Now I'm all for children and teenagers being safe and I think it's a good thing that it's compulsory in some countries but why on earth are adults joining the growing numbers of helmet wearers? What's wrong with the good old bobble hat!

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Lapland
Lapland
Finland
Charlotte, NC
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1. Re: Crash Helmets!

Helmets are more comfortable, now. There have been significant head injuries of celebrities that have drawn attention to the issue. Also, concussion detection and focus has caused increased awareness.

vienna
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for Lower Austria
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2. Re: Crash Helmets!

In Austria various federal states have enacted laws making helmets mandatory for kids under 14-15

Prices of helmets have fallen significantly and some states like Niederosterreich have made special helmets available at cheap pricing.

The new helmets are of light design and some become a fashion statement . Thus they become more acceptable for the general population.

Many ski rental shops now offer helmets as part of their program making it easy for skiers to use one .

All World Cup ski competitors wear the helmets too. Good PR for this.

Sentiment for wearing helmets has changed much in recent years with high profile news coverage of severe injuries and deaths on the pistes.

We see stories almost daily of ski injuries that add to the clamor.

News reports say more than 50000 ski injuries occur yearly.

Many are due to speed and out of control skiers perhaps being where they should not be qith their ability level.

While most are not severe , it does at times cause busy times at medical facilities.

Austria is a ski oriented country - skiers regularly in the top competitors with Austria being the top medasl winner at the recent World Champinships.Many schools here have as part of their school year activities , have annual ski weeks

You still see many adults not wearing helmets - perhaps it is how you grew up- without a helmet rather than beginning your days with one.

Lincoln, United...
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3. Re: Crash Helmets!

I take your point, however I haven't seen that many newspaper articles about fatal or serious head injuries involving skiers.. ok I've heard of a couple of famous people who have been fatally injured while skiing.. Sonny Bono and Natasha Richardson spring to mind but it's not something you hear of that much.

I reckon it makes it a more dangerous activity because people will believe they can get away with a bit more speed so not a good thing in my opinion.

Maybe it's just a way of taking a bit more cash from people and judging by the amount of crash helmet wearers we saw this year, someone somewhere is making a fortune!!

I suppose there will come a time when insurance companies will insist on it as a way of ducking out of payment... then even if you break a leg they can say we can't pay out if you weren't wearing a crash helmet!! I know, I'm a cynical old b*gger!

vienna
Destination Expert
for Lower Austria
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4. Re: Crash Helmets!

I assume that you live in England . Thus probably not the coverage seen there that may be given to piste injuries in alpine countries like here.

I do not think that the emphasis is by helmet manufacturers. Certainly today , these come in all price ranges.

Austria is said to host more winter sports visitors than any other european destination. Tourism is a large portion of GDP.

Our newspapers carry numerous notices of piste injuies almost daily - not just promi individuals but normal vacationers.

Many also injured in tobaggan/ sleds too.

Unfortunately , many injuries result from skiers be in places not suited to their ability - even areas out of bounds and closed to skiing. Skiing much to fast for ability and conditions.

Alcohol is often a contributing factor.

Many injuries self caaused by the above,

I personally ski , have never used a helmet . Fortunately, I still have a choice.

Fresno, CA
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for Fresno
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5. Re: Crash Helmets!

Back in the day before helmets, my brother was in a collision with another skier that caused a head injury. He had amnesia and memory loss. All this occurred during finals at university! (a note from the neurologist to the professors cleared up the doubt) Needless to say, we all wear helmets now. I find them very comfortable and protection from wind and the elements.

Brno, Czech Republic
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for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
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6. Re: Crash Helmets!

"I haven't seen that many newspaper articles about fatal or serious head injuries involving skiers"

A good friend of mine was killed whilst skiing in Austria from a head injury. He wasn't mentioned in the newspapers.

Munich, Germany
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for Munich, Bali
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7. Re: Crash Helmets!

I don't wear a helmet and neither do my kids (now 16 & 18) - I have given them the choice. My wife started wearing one last year and a back protector after falling over (no-one else involved).

There is no doubt that they are an important safety issue and agree that kids should wear them - like cycling helmets. Unfortunately IMO when helmets started to become more popular a few years ago there were some people who were obviously more ignorant, skiing more inconsiderately thinking they were "indestructible". Maybe it was the same people who always skied that way but the helmets made them stand out.

I have been hit by cars cycling on a number of occasions luckily never seriously injured and still don't wear a helmet (probably stupidly). Many years ago in the early 90's my friend who I cycled with every weekend (road racing) had a freak accident (no helmet) - passenger in a van opened the door onto the cycle path - mate hit it and broke his shoulder in 2 places (could have been a comedy programme) - after he recovered he took to wearing a helmet - when we went out again it was obvious that the helmet made him feel "safer" and was taking risks (downhill 60km is fast enough - he was definitely faster than norm)

So helmets are a good idea but I think that there still is an element of Helmet wearers whose greater feeling of safety is affecting their attitude on the piste.

Lincoln, United...
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8. Re: Crash Helmets!

That's exactly my point giftzwerg... it is amazing how much more confidence a crash helmet appears to give some people on the piste. We have noticed it more in recent years how skiers and boarders seem to be skiing faster and faster and I suppose we'll all end up wearing a helmet eventually but until they are compulsory I will stick to my bobble hat!

9. Re: Crash Helmets!

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